A treat for one’s eyes and palate: edible flowers

Eatable flowers salad

Marigolds, violets and pansies don’t just look nice in a vase. These fine flowers also taste nice – with salads, soup or desserts.

 

Edible flowers enrich our kitchen – they are a glory for one’s eyes and a treat for one’s tastebuds. And the good thing is: these delicious – and healthy – orchids, geraniums and violets thrive almost everywhere: in flowerpots, on balconies or in your own private herb garden.

 

All of us have already savoured flowers – Brussels sprouts, artichokes and broccoli belong to the same category. And, just like the fabulous “green stuff”, these fine and colourful flowers also surprise us with their gustatory diversity: nasturtium and chive blossoms have a peppery-spicy taste, and dandelions and sunflowers have a slightly bitter one, while daisies have a more nutty and finer taste. Meanwhile, lilac is more floral (kind of citrusy), and rose petals have a sweet aroma. The rule: the stronger the scent, the stronger the taste.

 

Don’t be shy! Flowers are suited to almost all dishes. They einrich vegetable stews, salads, meat dishes and desserts. Zucchini and squash blossoms are an excellent choice for frying or stuffing with ricotta, while calendula flowers give spinach quiche a hint of spice, also replacing expensive saffron when it comes to dyeing. Nasturtium also has an excellent taste; on pizza, for example. Or the buds of the daylily – think of that as an ingredient in currys or wok dishes. Gourmets will indulge guests with a  seafood dish with orchids. We can promise such a lot: you won’t believe it!

 

Things are also colourful and flowery for those with a sweet tooth. Elderflowers refine fruit salads and sweet casseroles, and dandelion flowers or rose petals give cakes and pies that certain something. Or how about lilac jam and violet jelly as part of a Sunday breakfast?

 

Important: only use flowers of organic agriculture – those you have grown yourself or ones available from health food stores and markets. Flowers available from supermarkets or florists are normally not suitable: they are often sprayed, and are inedible. The same applies for wild plants which grow in fields. Flowers taste best if they are freshly picked, but most sorts also survive a few days in a glass of water or in a fridge. Always wash flowers thoroughly before using them in the preparation of a meal!

 

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