I have recently been inspired by the whole edible flower idea.
My curiosity started with reading an article on edible flowers in the Organic Gardener magazine. Then I looked around my garden and realized I have edible flowers! What I have flowering in my garden are violas, marigolds and dianthus. There are also nasturtiums that have not yet flowered- (their leaves are edible as well) Who knew that all these wonderful flowers and leaves can be used in the kitchen.
I have been in cafes and restaurants and seen flowers used in dishes but thought it was more for garnish reasons, sure they looked pretty but I didn’t think of them as an ingredient in their own right.
So the other night, I decided to add some flowers to my salad – a nice gentle introduction to the edible flower idea. I enjoyed harvesting the flowers along with the salad greens, snowpeas, tomatoes and parsley.
I had picked two marigold heads – I gently lifted the petals up and had this gorgeous yellow mound of petals – which were tossed through the salad. I then sprinkled the violas on top. I love having different types of salad greens in a salad for the variety and flavour they provide – and adding the flecks of marigold yellow and purple of the delicate violas provided a element of “WOW” to my salad.
Munching on my salad, I was curious as to how the edible flowers would taste separately. My little one was also curious. We each took one viola flower out of the salad bowl. They smelled lovely and we each popped a viola into our mouths. I chewed slowly and tried to savour a flavour….any flavour. But to me there was no distinct taste. When I asked my little one how it tasted to her, she shrugged and said ‘Just like a leaf’
The marigold petals were tiny and tossed through the salad so we didn’t do a separate taste test that night. But I have since tried them on their own and they have quite a bite to them and are peppery.
I will definitely keep adding edible flowers to my salads – they add a touch of specialness. And for me, it’s about doing small things, that create appreciation and gratitude for the day.
This is only one way you can incorporate edible flowers into your kitchen. I look forward to trying a pesto recipe made with nasturtium leaves, making my own Jasmine tea and eating Frangipani petals with ice-cream. These are just some of the wonderful ideas that were in Organic Gardener magazine. I would love to bake some lavender biscuits but it seems the lavender in my garden isn’t the tasty type!
If you are going to use edible flowers just make sure you know they are edible, just like the edible weed idea it pays to have a bit of knowledge. If you aren’t sure, don’t eat it – no good munching on something that will make you sick, it’s a fast way to wreck any appreciation and gratitude that you have for the day!
What has your experience been with edible flowers? We would love to hear your story in the comments below.