Edible Flowers: A Tasty Garden Adventure!

The beautiful part about summer is all the gorgeous, blooming flowers everywhere! But did you know that some flowers are edible, too?  From tiny cute Johnny Jump Up’s and frilly dianthus or carnations to lovely robin blue borage flowers – there is a world of tasty, beautiful, edible flowers awaiting you in the garden!

A tasty carnation!
(Photo courtesy of Types-of-Flowers.org)

Please note: Edible flowers are available at farmers markets, some grocery stores or in your own garden. Not all are, so double-check before you go into your yard and start munching away—also be sure they are pesticide free or organic.

One of my favorite edible varieties is nasturtiums. These lovely flowers have a pleasantly peppery note and are tasty torn over grilled shrimp, veggies or fish. Great way to add a little color too!

Toss some brilliant yellow marigold petals into an arugula salad with goat cheese and sunflower seeds.  They have a subtle citrus flavour and can add a new dimension to an everyday meal. Or how about the vibrant colored petals of tuberous begonias – so tangy tasty – and great torn over grilled fish!

Another easy way to incorporate flowers into your next meal is to chop them up and whip them up into tasty Petal Butter. In my Radish Sandwiches, fresh chopped petals are folded in with softened butter and sour cream along with dill for this perfect tea-time appetizer. My Stuffed French Toast is a great twist on the traditional breakfast and is topped off with a Wild Flower-Berry Butter. Yum!

And guys, I’ll let you in a on a secret: making a meal using edible flowers is a great way to impress the ladies.

So a rose may be a rose by any other name, but I’ll call it d’lish! By the way, roses are edible too! They are fun and tasty sprinkled on desserts or served as a garnish for a cocktail.  Try it in my easy to make Fragrant Rose Sugar, which is perfect on fresh berries or used in a shortbread cookie recipe.

So enjoy the colorful flowers around you and remember, some of them are edible too! -Kathy

Radish Sandwiches with Petal Butter
Borage, Johnny-Jump-Ups, calendula, and rose petals make a pretty petal combination for this recipe. It is always very important to know that the petals you are using are in fact edible and have not been sprayed with pesticides. Gourmet grocers or farmers markets usually carry edible petals in the spring and summer. Pick out fun local radishes at the market or try making with fresh garden cucumbers.

Makes about 24 – 26 sandwiches

1 tablespoon sour cream
4 tablespoons lightly salted butter, softened (use local farmers market butter if available)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon lightly chopped, edible, mild flavored, wild flower petals*
about 1/2 a long French baguette
1 bunch local radishes (about 10 – 12 each)
extra edible flowers for garnish if desired
coarse sea salt

To make the Petal Butter:
Whip together the softened butter and sour cream in a small bowl until well incorporated and fluffy. Then fold in the dill and chopped, edible flower petals.

To assemble sandwiches:
Thinly slice radishes with a sharp knife or a Japanese mandoline. With a serrated knife slice the baguette into thin, 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices. (You should have about 24 – 26 slices. Use extra bread if any for another use.)

Spread each slice with Petal Butter, then top with slices of radish. Place sandwiches on a platter and sprinkle a few edible flower petals over sandwiches and tiny sprinkle of sea salt if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Stuffed French Toast with Wild Flower-Berry Butter
A Northwest twist on a breakfast favorite. Change the topping with the seasons, like juicy ripe peach slices dusted with powdered sugar for a sunny summer brunch.

Serves 4

Egg Batter
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups half & half
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
8 oz (wt.) cream cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons Liquid Kitchen™ 5130 Honey or local honey
8 slices hearty Sourdough Raisin bread or French bread
4 tablespoons butter
Wild Flower-Berry Butter, (recipe follows)
maple or berry syrup, warm
powdered sugar (optional)
fresh seasonal berries (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the egg batter ingredients. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling together until blended. Spread the filling evenly over 4 bread slices to 1/2 inch from the edges. Place the remaining bread slices on top and press together slightly. Place the sandwiched bread in the egg mixture on both sides for about 1 minute, or until both sides are thoroughly soaked.

Heat the butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the soaked bread in the hot skillet and brown on one side for 2-3 minutes, then turn and cook 2-3 minutes longer.

Place the skillet in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until toasts are puffy and lightly browned.

Place the toasts on warm plates and top with dollops of Wild Flower-Berry Butter. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired, and lightly sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with warm maple or berry syrup.

Wild Flower Berry Butter
Borage, Johnny-jump-ups, calendula and rose petals make a pretty combination for this recipe. Check with a specialty produce department for the availability of edible flowers. Some hot-house varieties are available out of season.

Makes 3/4 cup (6 oz. wt.)

1/4 pound lightly salted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons seedless berry jam
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
Dash of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lightly chopped, unsprayed edible, mild flavored, flower petals (optional)

Whip all the ingredients except flower petals in a blender, food processor or mixer until well blended. Fold in the flower petals. (Or I like to roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap then chill a bit then roll into the flower petals to coat. Wrap and chill – then slice for serving!)

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Fragrant Rose Sugar
Old-fashioned and heirloom roses produce very fragrant roses which will perfume the sugar best. This sugar is delicious sprinkled on fresh berries, or used in shortbread cookies that call for powdered sugar. It is also terrific in homemade lemonade.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup tightly packed UNSPRAYED fragrant rose petals
1 1/2 cups sugar

In a glass or stainless bowl mix together the sugar and rose petals. Cover bowl half-way with plastic wrap. Let sit for 2 days in a dry place, stirring every day. Then toss, cover completely with plastic wrap, and let sit about 4 – 5 more days or until petals and sugar are dry, stirring every day or so. If sugar has stuck to bottom of bowl, gently tap bowl on counter to loosen.

In a blender or very clean-of-smells coffee grinder, process petals and sugar in small batches till sugar is powdered and no bits or lumps remain. (If using a blender, process the sugar in about 3 batches. If sugar has a hard time getting going in blender, shake blender cup with lid on and blend on high. You may need to shake it a couple of times before it gets going.)

Place sugar in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in a cool dry place for up to about 9 months.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on July 26th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Edible Flowers: A Tasty Garden Adventure! |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

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