Where are edible flowers sold? Don't go running out to the florist,
as bouquets are generally toxic - not exactly the ideal ingredients.
If you haven't cultivated your own garden, try exploring gourmet
markets, specialty spice stores or farmer's
markets. These types of vendors will most likely be selling
edible flowers. Or, if you feel like being closer to nature, why
not pick your own dinner - venture out into a nearby meadow with
an edible flower guide.
flowers are extremely fragile and cannot be conserved in the refrigerator,
and thus must be consumed as quickly as possible. While waiting
to cook the flowers, place the stems in a bit of water to keep
them fresh. When ready to prepare them, delicately rinse each
flower in cold water, and then dry them, carefully blotting each
piece with paper towel. Remove the stems, using a knife if necessary,
and then, using tweezers, gently take off the pistil, petals and
can be consumed raw, cooked, in confit or infused in sauce. They
liven up dishes, creatively complementing appetizers, main courses
or desserts. Nasturtiums, primrose, borage flowers and dandelion
are all eaten raw in salads. It is important to choose the flower
according to their flavor, taking into consideration how each
distinct taste would correspond with other ingredients. Nasturtiums
have a sharp, pungent flavor similar to watercress. Daisies have
a very strong, smoky flavor and borage flowers faintly resemble
the taste of oysters.
a touch of the Provençal, try the zucchini flower, delicious
fried or stuffed. To prepare his fried zucchini flowers, Chef
Alain Ducasse combines 3.5 oz (100 grams) of rice flour, 8.5
oz (¼ liter) of water and one egg yolk to make a very light
batter, like tempura. He dips the flowers in the batter just before
frying in oil. The Pourcel brothers, chefs at the Jardin des Sens
restaurant in Montpelier, stuff zucchini flowers with clam meat.
Reine Sammut, chef at La Fenière in Lourmarin, makes a
the Prince de Galles in Paris, Chef Dominique Cécillon
uses poppies, rose petals and ranunculus to add distinct flavors
to a traditional sauces. "I work with them often, infusing
the flowers into sauces. You have to use a huge quantity of flowers,
but let them infuse for a very short period of time," explained
favorite edible flower of chefs Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier in
their seacoast garden at Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine
is the racy citrus marigold. Its assertive peppery-citrus flavor
is easily used in a variety of ways, such as delivered raw in
a salad or
infused into a beurre
lastly, edible flowers make a lovely addition to many desserts.
For example, you can fry locust flowers (soaked in rum and sugar
before frying) or you can decorate fruit salads, flan or cake
with violets, rose petals and crystallized poppies. Dip the flowers
in corn syrup and Arabic gum, and then sprinkle powdered sugar
on top before they have dried. You can't go wrong!