If carefully chosen flowers can make your food look colourful and taste fantastic. Growing a few around your garden and veg patch will add an extra dimension to your cooking. Some of the better known flowers for eating include marigolds, violas, primroses and nasturtiums, as well as the flowers from herbs and vegetables. Usually the petals of edible flowers are the part to eat, it is best to remove these and cut out the white ‘heel’ at the base of the flower which is bitter. A word of warning though – many flowers are poisonous so stick to the ones you know.
Petals and small flowers can be eaten whole and sprinkled over salads or desserts, as a garnish for salads or used like herbs in pasta or dressings. Larger flowers like courgette, gladioli and day lilies can be stuffed or deep fried.
Here are some more ideas…
Left to right: Alliums and chives are suitable for salads and egg dishes, Angelica has a liquorice flavour suitable for fish dishes, Bergamot has a fruity/savoury flavour suitable for rice or pasta, Chamomile has a sweet flavour used to make drinks.
Left to right: Marigolds have a saffron/peppery flavour suitable for many dishes including meat, pasta, rice and egg dishes, Dianthus (carnations) have a sweet spicy flavour suitable for salads and desserts, Chrysanthemums have a peppery flavour suitable for salads and dressings, Cornflowers have a sweet/clove flavour suitable for garnishing salads.
Left to right: Honeysuckle has a sweet honey flavour suitable as a garnish on salads and desserts – NB the berries are highly poisonous so never eat them. Jasmine is very fragrant and used for tea and rice dishes, Lavender has a sweet flavour suitable to garnish desserts and also savoury dishes like stews, Roses the flavour depends on the type and colour of the flower but all are suitable for desserts, syrups and jellies.