What flowers can you eat? Ideas for an edible garden.
Herbs and vegetables are not the only foods gardens produce. Many flowers also serve as savory salads, the base of sweets and of natural garnishes.
The purple blossom heads of chives, when mixed with a chopped tomato, salt and pepper, serves as a simple salad.
Nasturtium flowers are also savory and add a spice bite to milder flavours. They add colour and flavor to potato, white fish and other dishes.
Tulips, Sugared Violets and Rose Petal Jam
To keep some summer colour in your garnishes, try sugaring violets and pansies. Gently brush the flowers with egg white wash and then dip each side in sugar before leaving them to dry on sheets of parchment paper.
Beyond sugaring blossoms, how about some flower jelly?
Both rose petals and tulip petals are sweet, but the petals have to be removed from bitter bases and stems. As with grape or quince, flower petal jellies are derived from boiling and mashing to create a juice. Once strained, sugar is added to the resulting liquid. And, the amount of sugar can be shocking. For each cup of petal juice, dissolve 7/8th of a cup of sugar before pouring into jars to set.
Most recipes for Bulgarian Rose Petal Jam originate from Burgas, also known as the Valley of Roses. Unlike flower jellies that rely on juice, this jam uses a petal puree.
Organic is Important
Flowers, like early greens and herbs, absorb much more of the environment around them than hardier plants. If you are going to eat your flowers, as well as look at them, then be sure to stay away from sprays and other chemical treatments.