Adorn Your Plate with Edible Flowers

Lovely edible flowers add delicious flavor and easy elegance to many dishes. Adorn your dinner plate with this list of flowers you can eat.

| May/June 2013

  • Edible flowers make a perfect garnish for salads and can even add texture and flavor.
    Photo By Shutterstock
  • Edible flowers boast a range of flavors and aromas. Violets have a floral taste.
    Photo By iStock

"the thing perhaps is to eat flowers and not to be afraid"
—e.e. cummings

It’s funny that anyone should be afraid to eat something as lovely as a flower, yet many of these edible delights go unplucked in our gardens, and thus unenjoyed in our kitchens. Edible gardening guru Rosalind Creasy, author of The Edible Flower Garden, has been serving scrumptious edible petals to dinner guests for years, and is no longer surprised when her dishes are met with hesitation. “People believe that flowers are almost magical, so beautiful that only the eyes should feast on them,” she says. Creasy and other edible flower enthusiasts such as Denise Schreiber, author of Eat Your Roses, encourage us to shed the skepticism. For Schreiber, “Eating flowers is one of the true pleasures in life, providing sustenance to our senses and renewing our joy in food.”

Edible Flower Recipe

"Floramisu" Tiramisu recipe

Edible flowers boast a range of flavors and aromas, including light and citrusy (lemon and orange blossoms, tuberous begonias); piquant (bee balm, mustard, nasturtium); bitter (calendula, chrysanthemum, English daisy); floral (apple, daylily, violet); sweet (tulip); and pleasantly perfumey (jasmine, lavender, rose). The blossoms of some plants, such as arugula, broccoli, chives and fennel, simply taste like milder versions of the parts of the plant that we normally eat.



Finding Edible Flowers

If you’re lucky, you’ll find many of these delicious edibles in your own garden throughout the growing season. Nongardeners may find them at farmers markets and grocery stores with good local produce selections. You might even spot a container of edible blooms near the boxed salad greens in a major supermarket—Melissa’s is a nationally available brand that also sells online.

When harvesting blooms from the home garden, remove the pistils and stamens; eat only the petals. Always avoid flowers from nurseries and florists, which have probably been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, and those from roadsides or other potentially contaminated outdoor sites. Taste flowers before using them; flavors may vary throughout the season or from one variety of a particular plant to the next.

stevenamber.webb
5/30/2013 12:23:05 PM

DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU EAT YUCCA! It is a tricky plant and probably should have been left off of this list unless more info is given. If you don't eat it at the right time, it is poisonous!




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