Heidi Swanson’s Flower Pepper

published Mar 7, 2022
Flower Pepper Recipe

Spice up your seasoning game with Heidi Swanson's flower pepper.

Makes1/4 cup

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Credit: Heidi Swanson

I pull petals from whatever edible flowers I have around the house, dry them, and put them to use in simple flower pepper. You can grind the petals and peppercorns in a grinder for a fine grind, or with a mortar and pestle for a coarser one. The latter crushes  the  peppercorns but leaves the flower petals more intact. There aren’t many hard and fast rules here, but I lean toward rose, calendula, hibiscus, peony, jasmine, pansy, and violet for use with sweet-leaning preparations, and keep another grinder with herb blossoms — chives, thyme, basil — and pepper for savory. Lavender can be a nice addition in extreme moderation.

Flower Pepper Recipe

Spice up your seasoning game with Heidi Swanson's flower pepper.

Makes 1/4 cup


  • 1 tablespoon

    whole black peppercorns

  • 3 tablespoons

    dried flower petals (rose, calendula, and so on; see Recipe Note)


  1. The most convenient way to keep flower pepper on hand is to combine the peppercorns and petals in a dedicated pepper grinder. You can use a single type of petal or a blend. Grind as you need it. As I mention in the headnote, you can also grind using a mortar and pestle.

Recipe Notes

Drying flower petals: To dry flower petals, arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside for a week or two, until completely dry. Toss with your fingertips every other day. If you attempt to oven-dry, even at low temperature, you run the risk of losing all the vibrant color in the petals. Dried petals will keep in an airtight container for months.

Reprinted with permission from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson, copyright © 2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.