Anyone who has tried them will quickly acquire a taste for them, in the truest sense of the word: edible flowers not only visually enrich salads, main dishes and desserts, but also give the dishes a very special aroma.
Which plants have edible flowers?
In your own garden grow a lot of edible species: for example, violets, primroses, forget-me-nots and magnolias in the spring, in the summer come roses, lavender, daylilies, phlox, marigolds, wax begonias, summer aster and herbs. Chrysanthemums and dahlias finish off in the fall. But not all flowers have the same flavor effect. Strongly fragrant varieties such as roses, lavender, violets, lilacs or jasmine also score with a correspondingly intense aroma in the various dishes.
Other species hardly smell, but develop their own unique flavor, like nasturtium or wax begonias. Still others, like the edible cornflowers, are ideal for decorating dishes. Important: Only unsprayed plants should be used. Freshly picked flowers are ideal. When they have just opened, the aroma is most intense. To prepare in vinegar or oil, harvest in the morning before the essential oils evaporate due to the sun. Open flowers of lavender are suitable for eating pure, in oil or vinegar they should be budded.
How to use the edible flowers in the kitchen
Before their use, the flowers are prepared: Fresh plants are first shaken out to remove insects and then washed, but only if absolutely necessary, with cold water and dabbed dry. Whole flowers can also be kept fresh for a few hours in water. Carefully remove stems, sepals and pistils with stamens, and in the case of roses, the often bitter base of the flower. In the kitchen, there are no limits to the imagination.
In salads, the flowery ingredients taste fresh, but they can also be used in vinegar or oil, for bread, cream cheese or butter and provide a special flavor in fish, meat or vegetable dishes. If you like it sweet, you can prepare candied blossoms or use them to make jelly and jam.
Tip for the summer party: blossom ice cubes in refreshing drinks are guaranteed to go down well with all guests!
These flowers are also edible
In addition to the more familiar flowers such as lilac (Syringa vulgaris), daisies (Bellis perennis), hibiscus (Hibiscus), horned violet (Viola cornuta) or nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus), there are also lesser-known edible flowers such as asters (Aster), Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum), storksbills (Pelargonium), bellflowers (Campanula) or clover (Trifolium), but eating some other species can cause stomach upset or even poisoning symptoms. Therefore, it is recommended not to eat the flower if you are not quite sure.
Daisies are wonderful as decoration and enrich any soup. If you put them in a warm salt water bath, they taste less bitter. Spice Tagetes ‘Lemon Gem’ has a pleasant lemony scent, unlike the related marigold, and goes well with salads, fruit sauces and desserts.
Nasturtium has a spicy-peppery flavor, ideal for salads. Centifolia roses are popular as an ingredient in yogurt, jam and jelly