Found in supermarkets, farmers' markets, gardens, and fields, edible flowers can be used in all kinds of sweet and savory dishes. Here are five ways to dress up your meals with the color and fragrance of edible blossoms.
• Decorate cakes and pastries – Use fresh flowers to decorate a cake, such as this one Sara Kate made for her daughter's birthday, or make your own candied flowers to garnish all kinds of pastries. Candied flowers make lovely gifts, too.
• Decorate cheese – Time to get out the tweezers! Use a single blossom and, if you're ambitious, individual petals to decorate a simple round of chèvre (pictured above).
• Sprinkle on eggs – Peppery or garlicky blossoms like arugula, cilantro, and chives are delicious on top of slow-scrambled eggs and savory tartines.
• Freeze in ice cubes – Ice cubes with flowers or petals frozen inside look beautiful in cocktails, lemonade, and fizzy water. Fill the ice cube trays halfway with water, freeze, then place a flower in each cube, top off with water, and freeze completely.
• Make conserves – Using a mortar and pestle, you can make old-fashioned conserves by pounding fresh flower petals – such as rose, violet, lavender or borage – with sugar until it forms a sticky, fragrant spread. Most recipes call for a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of flowers to sugar. Here's a 17th-century recipe for "Conserve of red Roses in the Italian manner."
Do you have any favorite ways to use edible flowers?
Seasonal Spotlight: Edible Flowers
A Roundup Of Edible Flowers
(Images: Gregory Han; Kathryn Hill)