Edible Wild Flowers

CALENDULA
Known as the “poor man’s saffron,” the sunset-hued marigold flower really does taste like saffron when it’s sautéed in olive oil to release its flavor. Here’s how to make a calendula oil infusion. Uncooked marigold petals have a more subtle, slightly spicy taste and add depth to deviled eggs.

Courgette Blossoms

Meatballs and Milkshakes

ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS
The bright yellow flowers of the courgette or zucchini plant have a delicate and slightly sweet taste. Enjoy them the classic way–stuffed with herbs and goat cheese–or on a pizzalike this one, which features fresh pesto, a summertime favorite.

Hibiscus

Bustle

HIBISCUS
Both tart and sweet, hibiscus petals have a cranberry-like flavor that makes them perfect for teas and cocktails. Drop fresh hibiscus buds into glasses of bubbly and let your guests watch them bloom before their eyes.

Lavender

Climbing Grier Mountain

LAVENDER
Sweet and slightly perfumed-tasting, lavender works well when the buds are sprinkled in champagne and cocktails and over desserts like chocolate cake. Or try it in a lavender peach crisp served with vanilla ice cream. Click here for the recipe.

Nasturtiums

boroughmarket.org

NASTURTIUMS
These gorgeous flowers have a slightly peppery taste, almost like watercress, which makes them perfect for summer rice paper rolls like these. You can also stuff a whole flower with a savory mousse or enjoy nasturtium flowers like this with beef carpaccio.

Pansies

Carla Ruben

PANSIES
Pansies have a slightly grassy—even minty—flavor, so they work well in herb-flavored summer cocktails and fruit salads. For a quick, easy, and festive summer hors d’oeuvre, spread some cream cheese on a small round cracker and top it with a whole pansy.

Roses

Bon Appetit

ROSES
While roses have a strong floral scent, their flavor is quite subtle and fruity. Roses lend themselves well to everything from soups and salads to teas, jams, and desserts like this delicious strawberry, pomegranate, and rose petal treat.

Sage Flowers

Cooking with Toddlers

SAGE FLOWERS
With their soft, yet sweet-savory flavor and beautiful color, sage flowers add dimension to a variety of dishes. For summer, pair them with lemon and other garden treats in a popsicle for a surprisingly refreshing treat.

Violets

Brooklyn Locavore

VIOLETS
Violets, which come in a range of pastel and vibrant colors, have a sweet and floral taste, making them a perfect companion for everything from salads to iced drinks. They are particularly beautiful when crystallized and used to top frosted cakes and other desserts.

FLOWER PICKING TIPS
Be sure to avoid using flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. Always purchase your edible flowers from the produce section of your grocery store or, for online sources, try The Chef’s GardenGourmet Sweet Botanicals, or Marx Foods.

FLOWER PREPPING TIPS
When cooking with or serving edible flowers, clean them by washing them gently in a large bowl of cold water and letting them air dry on a paper towel. Use them immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container lined with a damp paper towel.

Advertisements