Cooking with edible flowers, how do they taste and which ones to try
Edible flowers are a pleasure to look at and delicious to eat. They brighten the plate, make a dish more festive and add beautiful colours and shapes. There are dozens of flowers you can eat, in this blog I'll pick a few for you that are readily available and accessible. So let's discover how to find them, how they taste and how to include them in your salads.
Nasturtium or East Indian Cherry
The petals of nasturtium have a "cress" taste, the pistil and stamens are more spicy flavours and can be even a bit provocative. You can add them to a salad, for decoration or additional seasoning. They are a touch of class as a topping on a pasta dish or even you can create a pesto with them. Nasturtium is not only beautiful and delicious, but also contains vitamin C, so it also has a healthy effect.
You can find Violets in all kinds of colours and have a mild flavor. They are ideal to brighten up your plate without being overpowering in taste. Violets can be used as a topping on a salad and they can also be served with a sugar coating as a fine decoration on cakes and pastries. Enjoy a romantic breakfast with the extra colour of violets;-)
Borage or Star Flower
Borage is interesting because these star flowers have a mild cucumber flavour. The flower is delicious in a salad and you can also add the flower to flavour and decorate a cocktail - think gin and tonic, where it is often served with a slice of cucumber.
Elderflowers are cute white petals with a typical spicy taste, they are used fresh and dried for use. Particularly known in Scandinavian cuisine it is often used to make cordial or 'lemonade' which is something you can easily make yourself - there are plenty of recipes available online. Elderflowers are a delicious decoration on top of a scoop of ice cream.
Tips for the use of edible flowers
- Edible flowers are best prepared as soon as possible after harvesting or purchase to maintain freshness
- The fridge is the best place to store the flowers before you add them to a dish to prevent them from wilting
- Do not buy flowers at the florist, they are usually not edible and sometimes may have been sprayed
Where to buy edible flowers?
The most common edible flowers can be found at farmers markets, from specialist greengrocers and delicatessens. Some large supermarkets also sell them, especially around holidays such as Easter. You can also grow and harvest from your own home garden.