Eat Your Flowers!

Edible flowers garnish a green salad
Edible flowers garnish a green salad-Calendula, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Borage

 Edible flowers make everything beautiful to eat. Used in appetizers, salads, entrees, drinks, and desserts, they make food fun to eat. Eye and sensory appeal for food is everything. If the dish is beautiful, colorful, and interesting, people will dive right in. Go to my post Edible Flower Palette for more ideas on uses and suitable flower varieties.

Edible palette of flowers
Edible palette of flowers

There are lots of books on edible flowers, their uses, and recipes, but the most useful one that I have found is Eat Your Roses by Denise Schreiber. 

The book is chock full of luscious recipes and I appreciated that it was printed in a spiral bound hard cover book that was easy to flip through in the kitchen. The pages were glossy thick paper that would be easy to wipe off splatters. No propping a cookbook up and having the pages flip closed while you are cooking!

More Than Just A Pretty Face

I learned in the book that not only are edible flowers attractive but many are chock full of vitamins and other good things.  Lutein, which is used for vitamin formulations for eyesight, is found in Marigolds.

Lutein is found in Marigolds
Lutein is found in Marigolds

Recipes like Nasturtium Bundles-beautifully scalloped nasturtium leaves rolled around a mixture of goats cheese, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and tied up with chive stems, made me want to get into the kitchen and start working. I think I will try them for an upcoming party as a showpiece appetizer.  And Lemon Verbena Salmon is definitely on my list to try as I have a bumper crop of that pungent citrusy herb growing in my garden.

I tried the Oven Roasted Italian Green Beans with Onion Flowers and was wowed by eating this recipe of green beans after I had grown tired of my harvest of plain steamed green beans. I couldn’t face another green bean after eating them plain for weeks, but when I made this dish, it changed the whole taste and look of green beans. Here is the recipe From Denise’s book:

 the cookie sheet with green beans, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and cheese
Loading the cookie sheet with green beans, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and cheese

Oven Roasted Italian Green Beans with Onion Flowers from “Eat Your Roses” by Denise Schreiber

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

2 Cups Water

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 tablespoon onion flowers, fresh or dried

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook the beans for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter and oil together and add garlic. Add pine nuts, breadcrumbs and cheese. Toss with the cooked beans, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the beans are a bit crispy but done.

Serves 2 – 3

Variation with Basil Flowers

Onion and Cardinal Basil Flowers
Onion and Cardinal Basil Flowers

I added some chopped up flowers from my Cardinal Basil for extra color and zest. See my post on Cardinal Basil-Striking Beauty to read about this great spicy basil. It is a wonderful cut flower as well as a great ingredient for cooking.

Oven Roasted Green Beans with Onion Flowers and Cardinal Basil Flowers
Oven Roasted Green Beans with Onion Flowers and Cardinal Basil Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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