The shoots of Day Lilies are one of the first to emerge in the Spring. Their flavor is mild, a little like spring onion but much lighter. The texture too is similar to the spring onion, only more tender. At this stage they are wonderful raw or cooked.
These plants were once considered an excellent ornamental plant and they quickly became widespread across the United States after being introduced from Asia. They have comfortably naturalized and, in some places, they are now regarded as invasive.
The tubers are very good eating. In the fall they have a stronger flavor than in the spring but even then the flavor is very mild.
To make the most of the flavor, it is best to pair it with other light flavors like white fish. The flavor is a little like potato with a hint of leek.
These little tubers can be boiled for 15-20 mins to achieve tenderness. Good par boiled and then roasted until the skin is crispy or simply sliced and sauteed until golden brown. They also make a good puree although it takes a lot of tubers to make a decent quantity.
We keep the entire base of the plant together so the tubers are in one neat cluster which makes them easy to wash quickly, especially with a vegetable brush (note the cleaned tubers as pictured above). We like to harvest them with a very thin coating of mud to keep them as fresh as the moment they were harvested. There are no poisonous parts of the Day Lily so the whole thing can be used after washing.
It is important to consider that the Day Lily can have laxative effects when eaten in large quantities, so take caution. Further, as with any new food, it is wise to consume only a small amount to begin with to assess one's individual reaction.