Using edible flowers to add colour, texture and flavour to dishes can be traced back to the Roman era, then saw a resurgence during Victoria's reign thanks to the popularity of floriography. Today I thought I'd run through a few recipe ideas for the edible flower varieties we sell here at Seedology. I love encouraging people to try new things and finding new uses for plants they may already grow. Cooking with edible flowers adds a touch of elegance and beauty to everyday living and helps build a deeper connection between us and the food on our plates.
When growing edible flowers, take care not to plant them near busy roads or industrial areas. Do not eat flowers that have been in contact with herbicides/pesticides and take time to carefully identify each plant before harvesting. Like with most foods, some people can be allergic to specific flower groups, and those with health complaints should research each plant before consumption.
These bold and vibrant flowers brighten up any summer salad, while the leaves provide a spicy kick. Nasturtium seeds can also be harvested and used like capers, perhaps in tapenade or on a pizza.
Lavender has a variety of uses in the home, its soothing aroma can be added to baths, candles or scent sachets while also working wonders sprinkled into baking or roasts. A warm, buttery lavender shortbread with a nice cup of tea? Lovely!
Those familiar with shop-bought chives may be surprised by the beauty of the purple pom-pom blooms given by this member of the allium family. Chives are mild enough to eat uncooked, so can be rinsed and chopped up straight from the garden or windowsill.
Cornflowers have become endangered in recent years due to the over-use of herbicides as a result of increasingly intensive farming. Cornflower petals look lovely and add delicate flavour when mixed into butter and served over a fresh, warm baguette.
Borage is perfect for attracting more bees to your garden and eagerly self-seeds. Harvest the borage young for a crunchy salad leaf similar to the taste of cucumber. Borage also works wonders in soups and can even be used to garnish Pimm's, ideal for summer garden parties.
I hope you enjoy experimenting with edible flowers this summer, please share your recipe ideas and tag @seedology.uk on Instagram so that we can see your lovely creations.
For our full range of edible flower, herb and vegetable seeds, visit:
SeedologyUK on Etsy