Monday, March 26, 2012

Yummy Flowers? Yes Please!

If you're like me, you get easily bored with the normal, everyday "salad"

Some nuts here, some crasins there, some ranch tucked everywhere...

So why not dress up tea time and do it like the Brits!?

Put some edible flower's on your salad!!

Here I have some beautifully colorful pansies on top of spinach for springtime. They have a mildly tart taste and go great with almonds, your favorite springtime veggies, and some raspberry vinagrette. They also work great on arugula and romaine - really any springtime lettuce. Isn't this way more inspiring than hum-drum parsley?

Well believe it or not, Pansies are not the only edible flowers in your garden. I love putting flowers on my salad throughout the season and it's a great way to wow your guests! 

Here are some more edible flowers. Check out some of the cool directions. Who knew bringing our garden into the kitchen could be this fun?

  • Angelica (Angelica archangelica) - May be skin allergen to some individuals. Good with fish and the stems are especially popular candied. Tastes like: celery-flavored. 
  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) - Tastes like: sweet, anise-like, licorice
  • Bee Balm (Monarda species) - Used in place of bergamot to make a tea with a flavor similar to Earl Grey Tea. 
  • Calendula* (Calendula officinalis) - Tastes like: poor man's saffron, spicy, tangy, peppery, adds a golden hue to foods
  • Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) - Tastes like: spicy, peppery, clove-like
  • Chrysanthemum: Garland*(Chrysanthemum coronarium) - Tastes like: slight to bitter flavor, pungent
  • Dandelion* (Taraxacum officinalis)Tastes like: very young buds fried in butter taste similar to mushrooms. Makes a potent wine.
  • English Daisy* (Bellis perennis) - Tastes like: tangy, leafy
  • Fuchsia (Fuchsia X hybrida) - Tastes like: slightly acidic
  • Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) - Tastes like: light, sweet flavor
  • Gladiolus* (Gladiolus spp) - Tastes like: similar to lettuce
  • Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) - Tastes like: slightly acidic, boiled makes a nice beverage
  • Hollyhock  (Alcea rosea) - Tastes like: very bland, nondescript flavor
  • Honeysuckle: Japanese (Lonicera japonica) - Berries are highly poisonous. Do not eat them!
  • Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) - Tastes like: very bland, nondescript flavor
  • Lavender (Lavendula species) - Lavender oil may be poisenous. Tastes like: floral, slightly perfumey flavor
  • Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) - Tastes like: lemony, floral, pungent
  • Mallow: Common (Malva sylrestris) - Tastes like: sweet, delicate flavor
  • Marigold: Signet (Tagetes tenuifolia) - Tastes like: spicy to bitter
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) - Buds are often pickled and used like capers. Tastes like: sweet, mildly pungent, peppery flavor
  • Redbud  (Cercis canadensis) - Tastes like: mildly sweet
  • Rose (Rosa rugosa  or R. gallica officinalis) - Tastes like: sweet, aromatic flavor, stronger fragrance produces a stronger flavor. Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals. Rose hips  are also edible 
  • Squash Blossom (Cucurbita pepo species (aka Zucchini Blossom)) - Tastes like: sweet, nectar flavor.
  • Sunflower* (Helianthus annus) - Tastes like: leafy, slightly bitter. Lightly steam petals to lessen bitterness. Unopened flower buds can be steamed like artichokes.
  • Tuberous Begonia (Begonia X tuberosa) - ONLY HYBRIDs are edible. The flowers and stems contain oxalic acid and should not be consumed by individuals suffering from gout, kidneystones, or rheumatism. Further, the flower should be eaten in strick moderation. Tastes like: crisp, sour, lemony
  • Violet (Viola species) - Tastes like: sweet, nectar

*Only the petals of these composite flowers are edible

Flowers to Avoid - Some flowers in particular to be avoided (but not a complete list) are: azalea, crocus, daffodil, foxglove, oleander, rhododendron, jack-in-the-pulpit, lily of the valley, and wisteria. See a more complete list.

I have only put my favorites here. Click for a more complete list.

May your seasons salading be FLOWERY and BRIGHT!


  1. oooooo this is a wonderful post! what a brilliant idea!

    1. Oh thank you! I quite enjoy it myself. The first time I ate a floral salad, I wasn't sure if I could put it in my mouth because it was sooo pretty. But I did and it was marvelous :D