My first question about lilacs was about their edibility. If these star perfumers were inedible I would need to rethink my ideas. As it turned out lilacs are edible and their flowers are often candied and used in wine making. While the lilac flowers do contain a touch of bitterness, the overall scent is sweet and enticing. The lilac's aroma immediately had me thinking of parsnips. The heady sweetness of parsnips seemed to be an ideal partner to the floral notes of the lilac. With the seasonal proximity of the young allium and the lilacs and their arrival in our kitchen today, the three elements came together. Sort of.
We choose to use a puree of nigella seeds as a complex onion note in our combination of ingredients. The lilac provided aroma to the dish. The reason our dish needed an aroma boost was because we were serving it cold, ice cream cold. We paired the aroma of the fresh lilacs with a parsnip ice cream and the nigella seed puree. We added a single lilac blossom since its overall role was to perfume the dish and to tie the other two ingredients together. It is an impromptu and tasty expression of a gorgeous spring morning.