Edible Summer Flowers

Published June 25, 2014

edible-flowers-a-treatDid you know there are many types of edible flowers? Pansies, violas, nasturtiums and impatiens are just a few examples of what is available and waiting for you to use in your kitchen. With the warmer weather upon us it’s easy to set up an herb and flower garden close to your kitchen.

If you are planning a party soon you may want to add a few of your favorite edible flowers as garnishes to your dinner plates or perhaps as the piece de resistance on your homemade cupcakes? Here are some of my favorite edible flowers that I routinely work with. The impatiens and violas lend themselves beautifully to sugar coating – see recipe below.

Pansies: These little flowers taste quite mild on baked goods and also make wonderful garnishes on main plates.

Violas: These have a sweet taste to them and come in a few different colours.

Lavender: This is wonderful when it’s dried and used in baking. It has a rather perfumed, floral flavour. You can also leave the lavender buds on their stems, group them together with a ribbon and use as a garnish on a serving platter.

Marigolds: You may have seen the petals of this flower on a salad you ordered at a restaurant. Chefs often use this flower in a recipe or as a garnish. The flowers and leaves have a lovely citrus flavour making them perfect additions to salads and desserts.

One way to add a little elegance to your next dinner party is to sugar coat the edible flower. Simply make your own egg wash by following these steps. Whisk up a single egg and splash a little cold water or milk into the mix. Whisk vigorously until a pale yellow mixture appears. Wash your edible flower and clean off any dirt or debris. Pat any excess water off the petals and let dry. Using a food-safe paintbrush, apply a thin layer of wash to the top side of the flower, then sprinkle a very fine berry sugar over top.

Shake off any excess sugar and let the flower dry for at least one hour.