Edible flowers are blooming in the garden following the ground work reported in my last garden up-date. Its great that we have been able to raise all these from seed, despite a late start this year. This is with the exception of the wild flowers which are being foraged from within the garden. In the pictures below this is represented by the Rose Bay Willowherb with everything else cultivated.
We are enjoying using these as interesting and colourful garnishes for our food with them enhancing daily buffet deliveries and our wedding catering. However, we have quickly found that at the peak of the season we are producing far more flowers than we can use so are now supplying to the Urban Pantry in Crookes, Sheffield. In addition we are preserving through drying Marigold petals, crystallising borage and looking to make Rose Bay Willowherb syrup.
Here is a bit more detail about some of the flowers we are growing along with there uses:
Marigold - Calendula Officinalis
Otherwise known as Pot Marigold or the Common Marigold the stunning bright orange or yellow petals can be removed and scattered through salads, rice, cous cous, or to finish cupcakes. The petals can also be simmered in milk and used as a saffron substitute.
Flowers have a lettuce-like flavour and make a decorative addition to a green salad or to garnish a pâté or dessert. They can be crystallised and used on cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.
Nasturtium flowers are available from June until the first frost, growing in a beautiful range of colours from acid yellows, through oranges, to deep reds and multi colour. Nasturtium flowers have a distinctive sweet peppery taste when fresh. They can be eaten whole or petals stripped and strewn over salads, risottos, and are also very good fried in a crispy tempura batter.
These white Vulcan flowers have been grown from the seed of plants raised in 2014.
One of the very best known edible flowers, borage is a classic, blue or white star-shaped flower with a mild cucumber taste. An essential addition to a jug of Pimms, they work perfectly with all refreshing summer drinks, puddings and salads and are strong enough to hold their shape when refrigerated. N.B. Pregnant and lactating women should avoid borage flowers, as more than eight to ten flowers can cause milk to flow. They can also have a diuretic effect, so should not be eaten in great quantity.
Yellow and white petals of the edible chrysantheum with a slight peppery after taste, beautiful strewn across both sweet and savoury dishes.
Disclaimer: PJ taste has researched the food safety aspects of all the edible flowers which we offer. However, individuals consuming the flowers or derivatives which can be made from them do so entirely at their own risk. There can be dangers for people who are pregnant, suffer from aliments such as hay fever, asthma or severe allergies or other health issues in case of doubt please consult your doctor.