Add a beautiful, aesthetic touch to your next dinner with tasty flowers that you can grow yourself. Many upscale restaurants have adopted the practice of garnishing salads and certain dishes with flowers. Flowers provide a touch of color, fragrance, texture and taste to an ordinary meal. You too can create a beautiful dish by growing your own edible flowers.
Can you really eat flowers?
The answer is: yes! If you are new to the idea of eating edible flowers, you will soon find that these can make tasty and beautiful garnishes. Think of the flowers like garnishes. Except like traditional garnishes like parsley, edible flowers provide a dazzling array of colors, fragrance and texture. Many people who come across flower garnishes for the first time in their life are often afraid of eating them. Don’t be afraid! They are quite good to eat, often adding a zesty or fragrant flavor to an otherwise dull meal.
The dual purpose of edible flowers
Many flowers serve a dual purpose: they are there to look beautiful in your garden, as well as to provide an aesthetic and tasty treat on your dinner plate. You can grow these flowers and enjoy them in your garden, and you can also enjoy them in the kitchen. Some specialty grocery stores will also offer edible flowers for sale. However, these are often expensive because these flowers are quite fragile and will not keep their texture for long after they have been picked. You can save yourself the expense and provide a steady supply of fresh flowers to your dinner table by growing edible flowers yourself. You should also be wary about the flowers you eat-specifically, make sure that they are organic and free of any pesticides. Here is a brief overview of the most popular edible flowers and how they might be used in your cooking.
Nasturtiums-the most common flower for eating.
Nasturtiums are by far the most common edible flower, and there is good reason for this. Nasturtiums give a bold dose of scarlet and yellow colors. They look and taste great with green salads and come in a range of colors, including, cream, orange and many bi-colors. They are also relatively easy to grow. You can grow them from seed or eat them straight off a transplant (making certain that they are safe to eat, of course).
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What does nasturtium taste like? You will find that they make a flavorful addition to any salad, and can range from slightly sweet to bold and peppery. Many chefs have discovered the unique taste of making flavorful vinegar from nasturtium. Simply add a handful of fresh nasturtium to a high-quality white wine Vinegar and let the mixture sit in a dark cool place for several weeks.
For a minty flavor, choose pansies.
Pansies are popular annuals that can offer a mild wintergreen flavor to any dish. Use pansies to create cake decorations, or make a luxurious cream cheese appetizer.
Marigolds-a useful substitute for saffron
Pot marigold, also known as Calendula, are easily substituted for saffron. Simply cook them with oil, which will bring out the flavor and color of the flowers. You can cook them with a bit of olive oil and some chopped onions and add these to rice or broth for a unique and flavorful combination. Marigolds are inexpensive and easy to grow, making them a good choice if you are new to edible flowers.