These violet leaves are young and tender. Just right for eating.
Fortunately for me, they grow in abundance up close to my house where there isn’t any grass, so they’re really easy to pick. I like to sauté them.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and sauté a chopped garlic clove. Add the freshly rinsed and still damp violet leaves. Sauté for just a couple of minutes, until wilted and tender. Add salt to taste.
Violet leaves are good in a salad of mixed greens, too. They have a distinctive taste, faintly reminiscent of the fragrance of the blossoms, and are high in vitamins A and C. In Stalking the Healthful Herbs, Euell Gibbons warns that violet leaves may be slightly laxative, so you should start with small quantities until you know how they affect you. I find the taste of the sautéed leaves so rich, however, that a small quantity is usually plenty for me.