Edible Flowers 101

We eat with our eyes first… and edible flowers can add just the pop of color to take your plate from blah to beautiful. In celebration of May flowers, here’s our quick roundup of the most accessible edible varieties and the best ways to use them in your kitchen.


Pansies

Colorful, versatile. Try them tossed in a salad, add as decoration on top of a cake, in lemonade or popsicles, or even over crackers and cream cheese for stunning appetizers.

Source: Vegetarian Times
Source: Vegetarian Times

Nasturtiums

Incredibly easy to grow on your own, mild in flavor and great in everything from salads to spring and summer cocktails and punch.

Source: Epicurious
Source: Epicurious

Lavender

Beautiful decoration to baked goods with lavender, such as our Lemon Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting.
Lemon Cupcakes With Lavender Frosting


Violets

Bring lovely shades of purple into any dish, I especially love them atop cupcakes as they perk up even an amateur frosting job like the one I did above…

Source: Design Sponge
Source: Design Sponge

Alliums (onion family) flowers

e.g., chive flowers. Great for rolling into pizza dough.

Source: Gardeners.com

Squash Blossoms

If you grow zucchini the tastiest way to manage your (usually overwhelming!) backyard zucchini crop is to harvest some at the flower stage. Often used in Italian cuisine, and served stuffed with ricotta cheese and spices.

Source: The Kitchn
Source: The Kitchn

This season, you may find edible flowers for sale at the local farmers market or the fresh herbs section of your local supermarket. Beware of using any you buy from a nursery, and first confirm that they’ve not been treated with pesticides.

Inspired to learn more? Check out Cooking with Flowers by Michelle Bacher, which is full of both sweet and savory recipes.

Cooking with Flowers

Happy Cooking!
Mary

About Mary

Gatheredtable Founder.

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