As a guide line, use garden flowers to bring a sweet and tangy taste to salads and desserts such as pansy, roses, and lavender. Herb flowers are flavorful and fragrant on cooked main meal dishes or vegetables such as baked yellow squash with dill. Use your imagination to create a some fun in your meals this summer.
Ok- and here are some more ideas! Go out, have fun and eat very pretty food! When your garden gives you flowers and vegetables, use them both to make a salad and to make you smile.
From the Sunset website: “Ingredients you can grow in your flower bed:
Pansy petals: The largest of the viola-type flowers, all of which you can eat (the littlest are Johnny-jump-ups). Faint lettucelike taste; velvety texture. Carnation petals: Sweet and spicy. Eat only the petals, and taste each flower before using, as they can sometimes be bitter. Calendula petals: Usually orange or yellow, with a daisylike appearance; mildly tangy. Bachelor’s Buttons: Spiky-looking but soft; can be blue, purple, pink, rose, or white. Cucumberish flavor and a fun, frilly texture. Nasturtium petals: The tastiest flower. Peppery and mustardy, with a touch of honey. Ranges from yellow to reddish orange, with variegations too.
Sunsets favorite salad flowers: 1) Bachelor’s buttons 2) Borage 3) Calendulas 4) Carnations 5) Herb flowers (basil, chives, rosemary) 6) Nasturtiums 7) Violas, including pansies and Johnny-jump-ups and 8) Stock.
Nasturtiums and Johnny-jump-ups are often available at upscale grocery stores. The best way to have the others is to grow them. To find out how to grow your own flowers for salads read here.
Recipe (Sunset Magazine/website.) Eat-Your-Garden Salad
- 2 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed, safflower, or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced tarragon
- 1 Persian cucumber or 1/3 English cucumber
- About 50 sugar snap peas
- 1/4 cup lightly packed chervil sprigs (optional)
- 3 ounces mâche clusters (about 3 lightly packed cups) (corn salad = mache = lamb’s lettuce = lamb’s tongue = field lettuce = field salad = fetticus Notes: Corn salad has tender leaves and a very mild flavor. Substitutes: butter lettuce OR Bibb lettuce)
- 4 ounces mesclun (about 6 lightly packed cups)
- 4 medium radishes, sliced in half lengthwise
- Your choice of: bachelor’s buttons (whole and petals), calendula and carnation petals, whole Johnny-jump-ups, nasturtium petals, pansy petals, and stock flowerets (15 to 20 whole flowers total)*
- 1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and tarragon.
- 2. Thinly slice cucumber. Split 30 of the fatter peapods and remove the peas; set aside. Gently rinse chervil, mâche, and mesclun and gently spin twice in a salad spinner to thoroughly dry the leaves.
- 3. Put greens in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly with 3 tbsp. dressing (leaves should be barely coated), adding more dressing if necessary.
- 4. Divide greens among plates. To each salad, add a few slices of cucumber, some sugar snap peas (both whole pods and just the peas), and some radishes. Drizzle with any remaining dressing, if you like, and top with whole flowers and flower petals.
- *Use only unsprayed, organic petals and blooms. If you’re growing your own flowers from seedlings, be sure to buy organic plants—and don’t spray them as they grow. To buy edible flowers, try gourmet grocery stores and farmers’ markets; avoid flowers from florists and nurseries.
- Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
- Amount per serving
- Calories: 67
- Calories from fat: 77%
- Protein: 1g
- Fat: 5.7g
- Saturated fat: 0.5g
- Carbohydrate: 3.2g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Sodium: 101mg
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Want more information? Here is very fun list > Edible Petals Glossary. One more fun site.. The cook’s Thesaurus- a list of Edible Flowers, photos, and often what they taste like. Now that qualifies for fun! According to the cooks THESAURUS … To candy flowers, whisk an egg white, then use a brush to paint a fine layer onto clean, dry, pesticide-free flower petals (or whole flowers if they’re very small). Next, gently place the petal into some superfine sugar, and sprinkle some more superfine sugar on top. Shake off the excess and lay it out on waxed paper to dry (this takes as long as eight hours).” Now you can have your cake and eat it too with flowers.
So, that’s it for today – see you on Monday!