Edible Flowers

Copyright: The Herb Garden Cookbook by Lucinda Hutson
Herbs enliven meals with their flavor and fragrance, and
they provide tantalizing edible garnishes too.

Borage (Borago officinalis) has lovely cornflower blue star-shaped flowers. Lovely in punches, lemonade, gin and tonics, sorbets, chilled soups, cheese tortas, and dips.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) has pretty petals in golden-orange hues. Sprinkle them on soups, pasta or rice dishes, herb butters, and salads

Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) flowers look beautiful on composed salad platters or crowning a frosted cake. Sprinkle the large petals in a spring salad.

Scented geranium (Pelargonium species) flowers come in fragrances from citrus and spice to fruits and flowers, and usually in colors of pinks and pastels. Sprinkle them over desserts and in refreshing drinks or freeze in ice cubes.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes also, from hearty stews to wine-reduced sauces.

Marigold (Tagetes species) petals can be sprinkled on salads, open-faced sandwiches, herb buttes, pasta or rice, and steamed vegetables  before serving.

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) come in varieties ranging from trailing to upright and in brilliant sunset colors with peppery flavors. Use entire flowers to garnish platters, salads, cheese tortas, open-faced sandwiches, and savory appetizers.

Roses (Rosa species) in miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punches also. Crystallized petals or entire miniature roses are quite lovely.

Violets (Viola odorata) were my grandmother's favorite flower. I like to eat the tender leaves in salads and use the flowers to beautifully embellish desserts and iced drinks. Related flowers, Johnny jump-ups or violas, and pansies now come in colorful purples and yellows to apricot and pastel hues. Freeze them in punches to delight children and adults alike. All of these flowers make pretty adornments for frosted cakes, sorbets, or any other desserts, and they may be crystallized as well.

Next: How do I crystallize or sugar coat flowers for Cake Decorating?

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