There’s nothing prettier than a glass jug filled with flower blossoms brewing in the sun. Many of our Mediterranean herbs like oregano, basil, thyme produce small flowers that can be added to vinegars, oils and butter. Other flowers like roses, nasturtium blossoms can be added to veggies and used as a garnish. Flavored butters are a hit, a bit different and can be used as an herb bread spread and often served in upscale restaurants..
1.” Eat flowers only when your are positive they are edible.
2. Just because it is served with food does not mean a flower is edible (see Rule 1).
3. Eat only flowers that have been grown organically.
4. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers (see Rule 3).
5. If you have hay fever, asthma or allergies, do not eat flowers.
6. Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. They are contaminated from car emissions (see Rule 3).
7. Remove pistils and stamens from flowers before eating. Eat only the petals.
8. Not all flowers are edible. Some are poisonous.
9. There are many varieties of any one flower. Flowers taste different when grown in different locations.
10. Introduce flowers into your diet the way you would new foods to a baby – one at a time in small quantities.”
If you have an organic garden this is a great time of year to think about and use flowers. There are a variety of recipe sites that easily use flowers in a variety of ways. For example: three flower recipe suggestions:
1. Vinegars: Get a favorite bottle, washed and cleaned. Place several blossoms into jar and then cover with rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar or good quality vinegar. Add oregano, thyme, basil or chive blossoms to rice wine vinegar.
Let sit for 6 weeks.
You can strain and enjoy the soft coloring the flowers bring to the vinegar and then use as a condiment, or to marinate a specific meat entree.
2. Butters: soften 1 stick of butter at room temperature. Chop about 1-2 tablespoons of herb desired depending on how strong you want the flavors, into butter. Stir and then place back in refrigerator until ready to use. Herb buttered bread or adding to a vegetable dish are easy ways to incorporate many garden flowers.
3. Tea sandwiches: Roses whether in a vase or in food are colorful and pretty, adding a grace to any table. Simply layer petals with your favorite scone, biscuit, or bread. Cream cheese spreads pair nicely.