Budding Basil (or Other Herbs)? Use the Flowers in Salads!

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Conventional wisdom on what to do when your basil plants start producing flowers is to pinch them off. But then what to do? Simply dispose of the flowers? No — eat them!

While the flowers are stronger-tasting than the tender leaves, and some folks swear that the leaves themselves taste more bitter after a plant has started producing buds, the flowers are actually a wonderful addition to lots of dishes. The first to come to mind is salad: mix whole flowers in with a green salad for a bit of a basil blast. They can also be used as garnish on soups and other dishes.

Do you use the flowers from your basil plants (or other herbs, like mint)? Let us know how in the comments below!

(Image: Flickr member Dominic Alves, licensed for use under Creative Commons)