Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Edible Flowers

This is such a fun topic. I'm going to let the topic and the hint run together today. With Spring in the air (and on the map, in spite of the cold snap we suffered through last week. Grin) those of us who love flowers and herbs and vegetable gardens can hardly wait to begin "getting our hands dirty. Theraupeutic, I call it. Wonderfully relaxing!

Want to Try something unique? Having friends over for lunch? Want a special dinner for hubby? Try
Edible Flowers:

Edible flowers can be served on top of desserts, soups, and in salads, and add a definite touch of spring to your meals. Be careful that the flower you choose is actually edible and that none of your guests have allergies to certain varieties. People with asthma or sensitivity to ragweed or hay fever should not consume flowers. Here are just a few of the more popular edible flowers:

Borage or "Starflower"
- These are small blue or pink flowers that taste like cucumber. They are perfect in salads, frozen into ice cubes or floated in drinks, and as garnish.

Detail of flower

Calendula or Marigold
- The bright yellow hue of these flowers is delightful and they add a complex peppery or tangy flavor to different dishes. It's often used as a substitute for expensive saffron.
French Marigold

Dandelion- Although technically a weed, the flower is quite pretty in salads and when fried in butter, tastes similar to mushrooms.

- Be careful because many Lily varieties are NOT edible because they contain alkaloids. Daylilies can act as a laxative so use sparingly. Daylilies taste sweet and crunchy like lettuce, especially the orange and yellow varieties. Dried daylily petals are often an ingredient in sweet and sour soup.
Hybrid daylily 'Tom Collins'

- The perfume of this flowering shrub makes it very attractive for cooking. Try it with homemade vanilla ice cream or candied for other desserts.
Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) in flower

Roses (and rose hips)
- For any romantic occasion, a couple edible rose petals are the perfect touch. A strong fragrance means a stronger flavor. Remove the bitter, white part of the petal before plating. Rose hips, the fruit of the rose plant, are also wonderfully edible, especially in tea.

Dog Rose showing the bright red hips

Violets or Pansies- These closely related flowers are brightly colored additions to fruit salads, beverages and other items. The petals can be used to color butter. Many violets have a slight, wintergreen or sweet nectar flavor.
5-petaled pansies

Tomorrow: A book review--look for it!

Blue skies with white clouds on summer days. A myriad of stars on clear moonlit nights. Tulips and roses and violets and dandelions and daisies. Bluebirds and laughter and sunshine and Easter. See how He loves us! --Alice Chapin



Arlene said...

Hey i learned something about flowers I didn't know before. That was great. keep up the good work.

Caroline said...

I've eaten a few flowers, smile. Hubby's eaten clover & friend pumpkin blossoms. There's a whole world of eating out there in blossom land! LOL

Break Time!

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