“Helping You Find Plants That Work”
by Ana Morlier
Image Credit to Arricca SanSone of the Pioneer Woman
Pictured is a scrumptious salad with violas, spinach, and arugula.
Happy February, readers! How are your Valentine’s Day preparations? Just kidding. I’m well aware that as of this Banner’s release, it’s certainly too early to be preoccupied with the consumerism of the holiday of love. However, I want to help you prepare and plan for a dazzling culinary masterpiece for your loved one.
You can still rose-tint your world (with ravishing blooms) despite the barren landscape. Numerous online marketplaces offer fresh, delicious, and beautiful edible flowers (featured below). Chocolate-themed items certainly grow tiresome, so why not try a stunning, fresh flavor add-in? Effectively spice up your traditional candle-lit dinner and bring a “wow” factor!
Include the blooms listed below in any type of dish for a fresh centerpiece.
Some General Tips
Blooms can keep for up to a week in your refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. Flowers with small, delicate petals (such as violas) will expire the most rapidly.
It is ideal to use your flowers within two days of purchase.
When on the prowl at your local grocery store, be sure to check for mold, which presents as web-like growths (white in color and web-like) that stick the petals together in clumps). Instead, seek out vivid and perky petals.
The package or seller must explicitly list flowers for culinary usage. Don’t purchase edible flowers from a random greenhouse or florist, as they will likely contain pesticides or fungicides.
Unless otherwise listed, stick to eating petals and not the whole flower.
If you need to preserve blooms for longer, petals can be dried, candied, or frozen into striking ice cubes (Try the A Busy Kitchen website for recipes).
Forget about the flowers you had in your fridge? No worries! Place flowers/petals in an ice bath for 10 minutes to rehydrate. After their nice dunk in the tub, use the petals as soon as possible.
Place flowers on the dish after you have added dressing or sauces.
Where to buy: Melissa’s Farms, Gourmet Sweet Botanicals, Cherry Valley Organics, and Marx Foods (all online shops).
How to rinse: Slowly swirl flowers around in a bowl of cold water a few times to dislodge dirt or dust. Avoid any force, such as from the tap or a salad spinner.
More Than Just Beautiful: A Flavor Profile Guide
Zucchini Blossoms: (commonly at farmers’ markets during the summer) can be baked, stuffed with rice, or fried. An ingredient found in many Mexican and Italian dishes.
Lavender: Seen everywhere! Put in fancy beverages (lemonades) or roast in meats, such as wild game or chicken.
Borage: A small, delicate lilac-colored wildflower can add a refreshing cucumber-like element to any dish or cocktail.
Dandelions: Both the flower and leaves can be consumed. Some like to fry up the flower; however, it is commonly used in salads, raw. Unopened buds are very sweet.
Cornflower: Adds a bright blue pop of color to salads as a mildly spicy garlic-like relish.
Nasturtiums: With stunning bright orange and yellow blooms, this perennial offers a peppery essence, similar to the flavor profile of chocolate mint. Add fresh cucumbers or strawberries to make a fresh, lavish salad.
Pansies: A more widely known edible flower. Garnishes well for anything: fancy drinks, teas, and desserts. It is safe to consume the entire flower.
Viola: Semi-sweet with vibrant colors, adding the perfect pop and focal point to any dessert, main course, or cocktail. Blueberry lemon sorbet violas and blueberry swirl violas are some of the most stunning.
Agastache: Also referenced as “licorice mint” with hints of…you guessed it, licorice.
Day Lilies: Both beautiful in gardens and on your dinner plate, these flowers are light and refreshing on the palate, combining the crisp flavors of melon and cucumber.
Some helpful websites to get recipes for edible flowers include the Academy of Culinary Nutrition (“How to Cook with Edible Flowers”), Gilmore Blog (“Create Your Own Edible Flower Garden at Home”), and Good Housekeeping (“11 Ways to Pretty Up Your Food with Edible Flowers”).
Enjoy the gift of fresh new flavors during your Valentine’s festivities. Even if you are unable to cook with these flowers now, consider this a helpful guide for a reinvigorated garden haul during the spring and summer months. Best of luck and have a lovely holiday.
Would you like to re-read any of my old articles? Please visit https://crazyplantladybanner.weebly.com/ for archived articles or to suggest topics for me to write about.