It’s not just fancy chefs that can use flowers to add a little color to a meal; you too can grow your own edible flowers at home. In fact, while you may find edible flowers on sale at farmers market every now and then, there’s nothing like walking into your garden and picking them fresh.
Just like with eating anything wild, when it comes to eating flowers, make sure you know what you’re consuming. The easiest way to do that is to plant the flowers yourself.
From nasturtiums to violets, here are 11 edible flowers that will make a nice complement to any garden, along with a few ideas of how to use them.
Maybe the most well-known of the edible flowers, nasturtiums have a slightly spicy flavor, similar to watercress. You can use them to add a peppery tang to dishes or even in pesto, which puts both the leaves and flowers to use.
Also called marigold, these bright yellow blossoms vary in flavor, from spicy to tangy. The sharp taste pairs well with pasta or rice dishes. Try it sprinkled over a risotto, or even in cornbread.
3. Chive blossoms
With chives, you can use both the green stalk and the blossom in your cooking, making it a versatile edible plant. The purple color of the blossoms is a nice addition to summer salads.
Another player in the purple color category, violets are most commonly known in the food world when they are candied. This makes for a pretty addition to baked goods, but you can also use them to make syrup or jam.
8. Squash blossoms
9. Basil blossoms
If you haven’t been good about nipping the basil buds, you may get blossoms, but not to worry, you can eat them. The colors will vary depending on the type of basil plant. The taste is similar to the plant, but a bit milder. Use them to make a basil flower vinegar.
10. Fennel blossoms
Fennel flowers have a slight licorice flavor just like the plant, and the bright yellow color makes for a beautiful addition to dishes where you want an extra herbal flavor. You can also use fennel blossoms to make soup or even liqueur.