How To Use Edible Flowers

Spring is the time for new beginnings. We start the new year in January with ambitions of change, cleansing, and growth, but the weather outside leaves most of us cold and craving cozy. Winter is a time for hibernation. As Danielle Beinstein so eloquently put in her article.

The cooling foods that we typically associate with cleansing aren’t suitable for winter months. Young fresh greens aren’t in season, neither are sprouts, berries, or many fresh herbs. In the winter we resort to cooked dishes that keep us warm and grounded.

Winter leaves us craving spring and all of its abundance—even here in Southern California. The produce that arrives this time of year is the most exciting. Full of new life, fresh flavor, and deep nourishment from virgin soil.

Celebrating spring means celebrating salads back on our plates. Spring flowers included. This recipe serves only as a template to get creative. We invite you to get outside and explore the farmers market, grow a garden and sip rosé! There is so much to celebrate. After all, summer is just around the corner.

Flowers make a sweet surprise to any dish as a bold statement in plating, with only a subtle enhancement in flavor. Here’s a list of some of our favorite edible flowers you can add to anything.

FLOWERS  

  • Borage Flowers – Lightly sweet and herbaceous, these flowers add a bold pop of color with only a light taste.
  • Nasturtiums – Peppery in flavor and color, we love to tear this little guys apart and sprinkle the petals for a boost of flavor.
  • Marigolds – Slightly bitter and reminiscent of tarragon or arugula, we love to pair marigolds with bitter greens.
  • Amaranth-  – Mild flavor with a bright fuchsia color, these are beautiful to add to anything savory or sweet.

SPRING SALAD

  • 5 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup mâche or watercress
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 1 cup micro greens (we used broccoli)
  • 1 bulb of fennel, shaved
  • 1/4 sprouted and dried sunflower seeds (optional)
  • Approximately 1 dozen mix edible flowers

DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

| ASSEMBLY |

Thoroughly clean and dry all lettuces. Feel free to use any that you would like, just make sure that they are clean and dry. Drying lettuce with a salad spinner is truly one of the best ways to have a clean salad without bruising any of the lettuce. Pick through flowers and make sure they are clear of any dirt of bugs.

To make dressing, whisk together cider vinegar, mustard, and optional garlic until well combined. Slowly add olive oil, whisking vigorously to fully emulsify.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Gently toss together all salad ingredients with a few tablespoons of dressing. Add flowers last, or reserve strictly for garnish.

Serves 4-8

NOTE: If you can’t find edible flowers in your local grocery you can purchase online for overnight shipping with Gourmet Sweet Botanicals and Melissa’s Produce.

 

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