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.

Lovely purple flowers grace garden sage and lavender, while mint blooms in shades of lilac, and rosemary blooms in delicate shades of blue and white. Chive's lovely star-shaped flowers range from bright pink to lavender hues, while cilantro's white umbels look like lace. Arugula's white flowers taste peppery, and Mexican mint marigold's brilliant golden blossoms sparkle when placed in bottles of vinegar.

Remove the small, individual yellow flowers from large umbels of dill and fennel or use the whole head as herbal embellishment, and take advantage of basil's tender (and prolific!) emerging seed spikes in assorted colors and fragrances for garnishes as well.

Sprinkle any of these aromatic herb blossoms over salads or soups, cheese spreads and dips, rice or pasta dishes, or herb-flavored butters. Let herb blossoms colorfully accent salads, adding extra flavor too!
Use lemon verbena's tiny cream-colored citrus-scented blossoms or pineapple sage's scarlet plumes for fragrant garnishes for sorbets, ice cream, cakes, and refreshing punches. Oh! and don't forget to place a few lavender spikes in a glass of champagne for color and for its unforgettable flowery essence.
I grow other flowers in my cottage garden, not only for beauty, but for use as edible garnishes also. Remember, any flower eaten should be grown organically without the use of pesticides (unfortunately, most florist-purchased flowers have been chemically treated). Do not sample flowers unless you are certain that they are indeed edible
Gather flowers early in the morning and store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready for use or in a bouquet in a vase of water. Naturally, picking delicate flowers in the middle of the day will cause them to wilt on the platter! Petals may be removed and sprinkled individually or entire blossoms may be used. Remove the pistils and stamens from larger flowers to prevent bitterness.

Next: Some of my favorite edibles!

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