Perhaps you shouldn’t eat the daisies, but there are plenty of other blossoms that are edible. Some just brighten the look of your food, some are nutritious, and some are even medicinal in character. Which are these and what should you remember about them if you decide to use blossoms in your dishes?
A couple common sense rules first: if you eat the flowers make sure they are sprayed with pesticides or dusted with poisons like fungicides. Clean, fresh, organically grown flowers are best. Remember, too, not everything pretty is safe to eat; some powerful medicines are made from flowers, like Digitalis (from foxgloves). Poisonous flowers can affect you with anything from nausea to death. So use flowers you know are safe to eat. Everyone tells you that when letting you know about which flowers can be consumed, so that you won’t accidentally harm yourself.
Here is a list of some flowers that you can eat:
- Squash blossoms
- Rose petals and Rose water
- Violet blossoms
- Chive blossoms
- Pinks (Dianthus)
- Elder flowers
- Lemon Verbena
- Blossoms of commonly used herbs: Dill, Chervil, Cilantro, Fennel, Rosemary, Thyme, Mint
What Can You Do With Edible Flowers?
Squash blossoms can be batter dipped and fried, stuffed with cheese, steamed, or simply saute in olive oil with a little garlic.
Click here for more about Squash blossoms
They have a delicate, zucchini-like flavor. The flowers of any small squash can be used, but hard winter squash can be bitter.
If you have borage blossoms their mild cucumber taste dress up punches and garnish chilled soups.
Source: theartofdoingstuff.com via Pamela on Pinterest
Petals from carnations (dianthus,pinks) can dress up cakes or desserts.
Pansies, violets, and Johnny-jump-up (a type of viola) can be used for decorating cakes, desserts or bright notes in salads.
Lavender can flavor butters, ice cream, cake, and custard.
Rose water is used in many Mediterranean dishes and flavors desserts especially well. Rose petals can make a lovely addition to a salad.
How To Candy Petals
Known as Crystallized, Candied, or Sugared flowers. For primrose or violets, harvest and prepare a few flowers at a time to be sure they stay in perfect condition.
Use borage flowers,violet blossoms, or rose petals.
1 or 2 egg whites, depending on how many flowers to candy
2 teaspoons rose water
Have a soft paintbrush and tweezers; prepare a tray lined with wax paper
1. Gently wash flowers and pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Beat the egg whites with the rose water in a small bowl to a well mixed consistency. Pour the sugar into a separate bowl. Paint the flowers with the egg whites. Use tweezers to dip into the sugar, being sure to cover all surfaces. Check for any uncovered areas, which would not preserve well.
3. Set flowers on a lined cookie sheet and allow to dry for 48 hours in an airy place. Store in a flat container with waxed paper between the layers. These will last for several days, in airtight jars for up to three months
Try some recipes:
STUFFED SQUASH BLOSSOMS
The batter must be chilled for thirty minutes. It can also be made in advance and put in the refrigerator for several days.
* 1 cup flour
* one-half cup cornstarch
* one-half teaspoon salt
* one cup fat-free chilled milk,beer or water
* one-quarter cup ricotta cheese
* 1 garlic clove,minced or pressed
* one-quarter teaspoon each of salt and pepper
* 2 tablespoons of mushrooms,must be finally chopped
* 1 tablespoon fresh basil or parsley finely minced
* 16 large squash blossoms,completely washed
* Your favorite oil for frying
1. Prepare the batter first. Mix all dry ingredients and then whisk them into milk,beer or cold water until smooth. It should be covered and put in the fridge for thirty minutes.
2. Prepare the stuffing in a bowl with your ricotta cheese,garlic,salt,pepper,mushrooms and basil. Open the blossoms and spoon one half a teaspoon of the mixture into the center of each blossom. Don’t overfill the blossoms. You should twist each blossom at the top to close it. Put them on a baking sheet and put in the fridge for fifteen minutes.
3. Pour the oil of your choice into a skillet until reaches about one-half inch deep. Heat over high heat until you can test a small cube of bread and it turns golden brown.
4. It is a brief dip for each blossom into the batter. Be careful in dropping the blossom into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on all sides which will take about three minutes. Add only as many blossoms as will fit into the pan. Then transfer with a slotted utensil to a paper towel and drain.
5. Sprinkle with salt if you so desire and serve immediately and it will serve four.
A Second Squash Blossom Recipe:
Prepare the Veracruz sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups yellow onion, sliced
Â¼ cup minced garlic
1 cup white pearl onions
3 pounds very ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
Â¼ cup capers
Â½ cup kalamata olives, halved
Â½ cup green olives, halved
Â½ bunch fresh oregano, chopped
1 bay leaf
Â½ teaspoon sugar
Â½ bunch thyme
1 ounce butter
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the yellow onions and cook until theyâ€™re translucent. Add the garlic and the pearl onions, and continue cooking over medium-low heat until the pearl onions are tender. Add the chopped tomatoes, capers, olives, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and sugar and combine thoroughly. Continue simmering for about 45 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in butter until completely melted. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the squash blossoms:
1 pound goat cheese
2 japaleÃ±os, seeded and deveined
Â½ cup epazote leaves
12 squash blossoms
Salt to taste
Â¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently rinse the squash blossoms in a bowl of cold water and lightly pat dry with a paper towel and set aside. Combine 1â„3 cup of the goat cheese, all the jalapeÃ±os, and the epazote in a food processor and purÃ©e until smooth. Transfer the purÃ©e to a mixing bowl and, using your hands, thoroughly mix in the remaining goat cheese. Season to taste with salt.
Separate the goat-cheese mixture into 12 equal pieces. Using your hands, roll the pieces into logs about 2 inches long. (If you have a piping bag, you can use that to fill the blossoms. Alternately, use a large Zip loc bag, push the filling into one corner of the bag, and cut off a tiny bit of the tip to make a piping bag.) Gently pry open a squash blossom by pulling back on one of the petals and place (or pipe) a cheese log inside. Lightly pinch the petals closed around the cheese. Repeat with remaining squash blossoms.
Place the stuffed squash blossoms on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for no more than 5 minutes. The cheese should be warmed through, and the squash blossoms should soften but not brown.
To finish, divide the Veracruz sauce between four plates, top each with 3 squash blossoms, and drizzle with olive oil.
Rose-Scented Fruit Salad
* peeled and cut up pieces of any variety of fruits such as melon, mango, bananas, oranges, apples, berries, grapes, etc
* juice of 1 lemon
* 4 â€“ 6 tbs of sugar
* 1-2 tbs rose water (can be found in Middle Eastern stores or gourmet section of your grocery store)
1. Combine all fruits in a bowl.
2. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar, lemon juice and rose water.
3. Leave to macerate for at least an hour before serving, turning over the fruits a few times. The sugar will draw out the juices to form a fragrant rose syrup.
4. Garnish with fresh rose petals.
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* Â½ teaspoons salt
* Â¼ cup margarine
* 2 tablespoons calendula petals, finely chopped
* Â¾ cup milk
* 2 tablespoons margarine
Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in margarine and Calendula petals with a pastry knife until the mixture is mealy in texture. Quickly stir in the Milk. Turn out onto a floured board. Shape and kneed (as little as possible) into an oblong shape about 1-Â½ Inches thick. Place on a heavy cookie sheet (or use one cookie sheet atop another). With a sharp Knife, cut dough into 2-inch squares. Dot each biscuit with margarine. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 6 to 8.
Sweet Wine Lavender Cookies
* 1 cup plus 1-1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup lavender sugar (recipe below)
* Pinch of salt
* 4 Tbsp butter
* 2-1/2 Tbsp sweet white wine
* 12 leaves of fresh lavender, chopped finely
Sift the flour, all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Mix a well in the center and add the wine and the lavender leaves and stir in gently. Leave the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring now and again, by which time it will have bonded together, then gather together to make a soft dough. Roll out the dough on a floured board about 1/8 inch thick and use a serated pasta wheel to cut out small strips, about 2 inches by 1 inch. Place on a buttered baking tray, giving one half of each strip a twist, as you do so to make the cookies look just like little bows. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are just turning brown. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Lavender Sugar:
Mix 2 tablespoons of spikes of fresh lavender flowers or 1 tablespoon of dried lavender flowers with 1 cup of superfine sugar. Select a glass jar and make alternate layers of sugar and lavender flowers until the jar is full. Cover tightly and leave in a warm, dry room for 1 to 2 weeks. Shake the jar through a sieve before use. This method is similar to the conventional method you use to make vanilla sugar.
Butter made be blended up to 1 day in advance in the refrigerator or up to one month before use in the freezer.