Food and flowers are wonderful side-by-side, and flowers on the table can definitely set the tone for a meal…. but many flowers you love are also edible! Did you know you can eat those (unsprayed) marigolds roses and pansies in your yard?
You can add edible flowers to salads, or to top a dish or cocktail. And some of our favorite veggies and greens have tasty blossoms as well. For instance, arugula blossoms are beautiful small flowers – with a peppery flavor, much like the leaves! Another favorite is nasturtium flowers, so pretty but with a very zippy flavor. For larger flowers like nasturtiums or marigolds, I like to pull off the flower petals before adding to a dish.
For a beautiful appetizer idea, you can mix soft goat cheese with roasted garlic and some fresh herbs – then form into a log in plastic wrap. Pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until very firm – then unwrap and roll in edible flower pedals. Present on a cheese board, or slice into beautiful rounds and serve on crostini – yum!
Freezing edible flowers into ice cubes will definitely snazz up your favorite cocktail, like in my recipe for Sparkling Floral Gin Punch.
Always check to be sure that your flowers are edible and unsprayed! There are lots of great resources online – and for those of you in the hospitality industry, be sure to check out Fresh Origins, our go to source for edible florals and micro herbs! -Kathy
Sparkling Floral Gin Punch
A delicious and sophisticated punch for any garden hangout or summer wedding. For the ultimate presentation, serve over large format ice cubes studded with edible flower petals made in square silicone ice molds (available online).
Makes about 11 1/2 cups, or 16 – 18 servings
1 cup wildflower honey
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon juice
3 cups Koval Dry Gin (750 ml bottle)
1 cup Italicus Liqueur (aromatics of rose and bergamot), or if not available substitute St Germain
1 bottle (750 ml) prosecco, chilled
Garnish: Lemon peel twists (and edible flower petals if not serving over floral ice cubes)
In a large pitcher, combine the honey and warm water; stir until well dissolved. Then add the lemon juice, gin and liqueur. (At this point you can refrigerate the punch for service, up to 3 days in advance). When ready to serve, pour the chilled mixture into a punch bowl or large drink pitcher (You could split it between 2 pitchers and add half a bottle of prosecco to each.) Serve over floral ice cubes and garnish with lemon twists.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®