Our Guide To Edible Flowers
Flower recipes are always a real showstopper at any gathering. Nowadays you see edible flowers on restaurant plates and cupcakes but today we've decided to show you some of our favorite that you can recreate at home. Decorate your dishes this summer with these colorful edible flowers and share your photos online, tagging Henry's Place so we can see your creations.
LIST OF FLOWERS:
Begonia: Both tuberous (Begonia x tuberhybrida) and wax (B. x semperflorens-cultorum) begonias have edible flowers with a slightly bitter to sharp citrus flavor. Tuberous begonia flowers contain oxalic acid, so should be avoided by people suffering from kidney stones, gout, or rheumatism.
Borage: Also known as starflower, borage’s tiny, five-pointed blossoms are usually blue but occasionally come in pink or white. They have a mild cucumber flavor with a hint of honey and are a lovely addition to many dishes, particularly salads and desserts.
The flowers can be candied to decorate cakes by brushing gently with egg white and sprinkling with sugar. They can also be infused into a simple syrup for use in cocktails, look beautiful frozen into ice cubes and are a popular garnish for Pimm’s.
Cornflower: The cornflower’s beautiful blue color is very striking and remains nearly as vibrant even when the petals have been dried. It grows as a weed in grain fields, hence the name, and has a sweetish, spicy flavor, sometimes described as clove-like. Fresh, it makes a beautiful garnish for salads or the dried petals can be used in baking.
Chamomile: Daisy-like chamomile has a slightly sweet, apple flavor. Their best known use is probably in tea which can be made with fresh or dried flowers and is thought to have a stomach-settling and mildly soporific effect. Many children’s introduction to the idea is probably Peter Rabbit being given a dose of this soothing tincture after his run in with Mr McGregor! The flavors pair well with honey and lemon and can be baked into cakes and crumble toppings, used as a flavoring for creamy desserts such as panna cotta or stirred into porridge as it cooks.
Chives: The flowers of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are ball-like clusters of hundreds of little florets that can be separated and scattered onto salads for color and a mild onion flavour.
Dandelion: The ubiquitous dandelion (Taxacum officinalis) is entirely edible. When picked small, and unopened, the flower buds have a surprising sweetness, reminiscent of honey. Young greens are also tasty either raw or steamed. Dandelion petals look very nice when scattered over pasta or rice. While dandelions are rather easy to come by, make sure to harvest them only from organic gardens. Avoid any grown near roads or picked from lawns where chemicals may be present.
Marigold: Also known as calendula, marigolds are easy to grow but only the petals can be eaten. Fresh, they have a spicy, citrusy flavour, sometimes with bitter notes, and can be scattered over salads. Cooked they don’t taste of much but add a beautiful golden hue to all sorts of dishes including soups, pastas and risottos. Historically marigold petals were used to colour butter and cheeses and were known as ‘poor man’s saffron’.
Lilac: Like lavender, the flowers of lilac (Syringa vulgaris) have an intensely floral, almost perfumey flavor with lemon undertones. A little goes a long way, but one or two individual flowers added to a summer punch looks wonderful and tastes very refreshing.
Pansy: The flower petals of the familiar garden pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) are edible and highly decorative. The petals have little flavor, but the whole flower can also be used. It has a grassy, wintergreen undertone that works well in fruit salad.
Rose: All varieties of rose are edible and petals are widely used as a flavoring across India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East, most obviously in desserts, ice creams and sweets (think gulab jamum or Turkish delight). The petals look stunning on cakes and trifles and make lovely jams, both on their own or combined with strawberries or raspberries. They can be infused into a simple syrup for use in cocktails and a few petals make a great addition to a G&T.
Roses can make an appearance in savoury dishes, too; the dried petals are used in ground spice mixtures like ras el hanout which are then used in tagines and to flavor grilled meats (rose is a particularly popular partner for quail). The more fragrant the flower the stronger the flavor will be, so go easy with it to stop your dish ending up with a soapy air.
Violet: Many varieties (Viola spp.) are suitable for decorating food. They come in a range of sweet, perfumed flavors, and a wide range of colors. Some of the tiniest violet flowers make the best additions to cakes, drinks, and salads.
Rainbow Radish & Edible Flower Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
1 (5 oz) package butterhead lettuce
1 (5 oz) package arugula
1 thinly sliced watermelon radish
1 thinly sliced purple radish
1 thinly sliced green radish
3 rainbow carrots, shaved into ribbons, then shocked in an ice bath to set curl
1/2 cup thinly sliced on the bias snap peas
1/4 cup red cabbage, shredded
2 shallots, cut into rings
2 blood oranges, segmented
1/2 cup blood orange juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
For garnish Microgreens
For garnish Edible Flowers
In a jar combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano. Add the shallots and leave to marinate on the counter for at least 2 hours.
Remove the shallots from the olive oil and set aside. Combine the orange juice, olive oil, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper in a jar and shake well until thick and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
In a very large bowl, toss the lettuce and arugula with about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Add half the radishes, carrots, peas, shallots and orange segments and toss.
Transfer to a platter. Arrange the remaining ingredients to create a colorful finish. Drizzle more vinaigrette and garnish with microgreens and edible flowers.
Prosecco Ice Pops With Edible Flowers
15 oz prosecco
5 oz simple syrup
5 oz lemon juice
2 large white peaches
3 dashes peach bitters
Edible flowers for garnish
Chop the peaches, removing the pits, and add them to your blender.
Puree until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Transfer 5 oz of peach puree to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, prosecco, simple syrup, and bitters. Carefully add the prosecco, as it will foam aggressively. Stir to combine. Wash and dry the edible flowers and add them to the popsicle molds.
Pour the peach mixture into the popsicle molds. The flowers will float to the surface.
Place the popsicle molds into the freezer for approximately 30 minutes or until partially frozen. At this point you can gently mix the popsicle to evenly distribute the flowers. This is a good time to add the popsicle sticks too. Place back into the freezer until frozen solid.
Once frozen, release the popsicles by running them under warm water for a few seconds.
Do you think you will try any of these recipes at your next garden party or summer gathering?
If you give them a go be sure to tag us on Instagram and/or Facebook, we would love to see what your colorful creations look like.
Warmest Wishes From Our Place To Yours,
Adam & Eric