Edible Flowers – Step up your Spring Salad
Edible flowers are an amazing way to bring Spring indoors. Not only are edible flowers filled with vitamins and antioxidants, they add delightful color and unexpected flavor to many dishes. They create a fancy “fine dining” vibe, which is always fun. But before you go a pick your neighbor’s roses for your tuna tartar, there are some rules you need to consider.
Things to consider:
Always make sure that the edible flowers that you desire are completely organic and GMO free. Stay away from anything sprayed with a pesticide because it can make you sick. Also, don’t eat the flowers you get from the store… unless they are marked “edible.” Next, never harvest flowers from the side of the road. This makes it really difficult to know if there are any contaminants on the flowers and also makes identifying the flower a bit harder. Which brings us to our next point: Identify, identify, identify! When you are looking for flowers to add to your noms, make sure you know the exact plant that you have in front of you. This is where latin name identification comes into play. Every plant has common names and a latin name. The latin name is what you want to pay attention to (same with herbs).
So which flowers CAN you eat?
Here’s a list of our favorites:
- Carnations(Dianthus caryophyllus – aka Dianthus)
- Chrysanthemums(Chrysanthemum coronarium)
- Clover(Trifolium species)
- Dandelions(Taraxacum officinalis)
- Elderberry Blossoms(Sambucus spp)
- Ginger(Zingiber officinale)
- Hibiscus(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
- Jasmine(jasmine officinale)
- Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)
- Lilac(Syringa vulgaris)
- Marigold(Tagetes tenuifolia – aka signata)
- Peony(Paeonia lactiflora)
- Tulip Petals(Tulipa)
By no means is this a full list, this is just a “starter” kit.
Okay, so now you have a pretty good idea of which blooms you can eat. Now what do you make? Our advice: check out Brit + Co’s list of 17 Recipes to Make with Edible Flowers. We recommend starting here.