Here is a very simple way to funk up a green salad! Edible flowers are all the rage at the moment and they look great in a salad. Eating flowers is nothing new, it has been going on for centuries. The first mention of people consuming flowers was as far back as 140 BC! You are already eating flowers; broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes are all flowers.
Here are a few tips to remember before harvesting any flowers:
1. Do not harvest any flowers that could have been exposed to animals especially dogs. i.e. avoid the telegraph pole!
2. Do not harvest any flowers that have had insecticides sprayed on them. Yet another reason for organic gardening. To be safe only harvest flowers from your garden, not the local council flower gardens.
3. Do not harvest any flowers that have had liquid fertilisers recently sprayed on them. Wait at least a week to be safe.
4. Do not harvest any flowers from the side of roads where they have been exposed to carbon monoxide etc.
5. If you are unsure if it is edible, then do not eat it. Caution is always the best policy.
6. Do not eat any flowers from florists as they could have been sprayed with pesticides.
7. Do not pick any flowers that show signs of disease or have been eaten by insects. Bees will not make flowers inedible.
Some of the more common EDIBLE FLOWERS in your garden include:
A) Angelica, Apple Blossom, Artichoke, Arugula (Rocket)
B) Basil, Bee Balm, Borage, Burnet
C) Calendula (Marigold), Carnation, Chamomile, Chicory, Chives, Chrysanthemum, Coriander, Citrus, Clover, Cornflower
D) Dandelion, Daylily, Dianthus, Dill
E) Elderberry, English Daisy
F) Fennel, Freesia, Fuchsia Fennel flower
G) Gardenia, Garlic, Geraniums, Gladiolas
H) Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Hyssop
L) Lavendar, Lemon Verbena, Lilac
M) Mallow, Marigold, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard
O) Oregano, Okra, Onion, Orange Blossom
P) Pansy, Passionflower, Pea, Pineapple Sage, Primrose
R) Radish, Red Clover, Redbud, Rose, Rosemary, Runner Bean, Rocket
S) Sage, Scented Geranium, Snapdragon, Society Garlic, Sunflower, Sweet Marigold, Sweet William
T) Thyme, Tulip
V) Viola, Violet
W) Winter Savory
Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest. Rinse them under fresh running water. Immediately drop them in ice water for 1 minute. Dry on a paper towel. For best results, use your flower petals immediately (not the stamen or the stems), or store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight.
Flowers can be used for a multitude of dishes from garnishes to salads. Try freezing petals in an ice cube tray filled with water. Add to jellies, cocktails, stirfries, add to baking such as bread, scones or muffins or decorate an iced cake. Cover the petals in granulated sugar and place in hot sun to make some delicate lolly flowers.