Eat your flowers: Part I

A few weekends ago, we visited a friend of ours down in Portland, where I enjoyed a lovely late brunch complete with a mimosa or three, topped off with a cute little (edible) rose.

When we got home and checked on the garden, we found that our miniature pumpkin plants had tons of flowers on them (also edible!) - so I thought I would do a post on some edible flowers that are available right now in the season, and what the heck to do with them.  Of course, there are a whole ton of flowers right now, so stay tuned for Part II of this post, which will cover a few more.

Pumpkin and Squash Blossoms

The first time I had these, a few of us had been biking around the city in sweltering heat, and we took a break in a friend's backyard with a few brews.  He walked over to his garden, plucked a few of the squash blossoms off his plants, and walked inside his house, emerging a few minutes later with the most delectable deep-fried squash blossoms.  Frying is the most common way of preparing these, sometimes with cheese or other stuffings, but you can also bake them in a similar way.

Nasturtium

This is a wonderfully edible (maybe the most easily edible) flower in bloom right now.  I recently had a company retreat out at Cama Beach State Park, where they had this flower growing everywhere - though it is fading quickly.  For dinner one night, the salad included little orange nasturtium flowers thrown in, which is the most popular way to enjoy these.  Refreshing and beautiful to boot!

Sadly, I don't have any of these in my garden.  So while we were at the nursery this weekend, I picked up some seeds for next year.  SPITFIRE!  Sounds sassy.

  Rosemary Flowers Depending on where you live, rosemary may or may not grow into gigantic trees.  Here in Seattle, I don't know of anyone who buys rosemary from the store, because all you have to do is walk half a block and you'll find an enormous rosemary bush.  Right now, the bushes have these beautiful little purple flowers on them that are also quite edible.  They have many of the same characteristics as the leaves, but quite a bit stronger.  Most recipes you find involve mixing them into butters and oils because they are so potent, but I also have some thoughts about some experiments I'd like to try.  We'll see how that goes.

 

Rosemary Flowers

Depending on where you live, rosemary may or may not grow into gigantic trees.  Here in Seattle, I don't know of anyone who buys rosemary from the store, because all you have to do is walk half a block and you'll find an enormous rosemary bush.  Right now, the bushes have these beautiful little purple flowers on them that are also quite edible.  They have many of the same characteristics as the leaves, but quite a bit stronger.  Most recipes you find involve mixing them into butters and oils because they are so potent, but I also have some thoughts about some experiments I'd like to try.  We'll see how that goes.

Next post: MORE EDIBLE FLOWERS!  In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you have any great, unique recipes using any of these, or if you have any of your own experimental ideas for me to try.