I have a few weeks to catch up on, so here it goes starting with Week 32 of The Blooms – an edible flower salad I made with lettuce from my friends garden and flowers from my own.I’ve always loved using flowers for things other than just putting in a vase. As a child I used flowers to make perfume, flower crowns, and to decorate mud pies. I remember sucking the sweet sap out of white dead nettle flowers and putting buttercups under my friends chin to see if they liked butter or margarine! I also remember my mum sometimes picking flowers from the garden and putting them in our salads and me being fascinated that you could actually eat them. I don’t know how I didn’t die by accidentally eating a poisonous plant! My mum teaching me the ins and outs of dangerous plants probably had something to do with it (!), and picking flowers from my own garden to eat has been a great way to talk to my kids about poisonous plants and berries.
I grew three types of edible flowers in the cutting patch this year.
First was Calendula which have petals that are edible. They have a nice peppery flavour and they add bright yellow, gold and orange colour to soups and salads. They can also be used to tint food dishes like saffron does.Second was Cornflower. The pretty blue flowers of cornflower have a slightly spicy, clove-like flavour with a slight sweetness. The petals look amazing in salads, as a garnish or even putting whole flowers in drinks. I added Cornflower petals to some homemade ice cubes this summer which the kids loved.Third was Nasturtiums. They produce edible flowers and leaves and even the fresh seeds can be pickled like capers. All parts of the nasturtium have a pleasant, sweet, peppery flavour.And there you have it! Bobs your Uncle….a VERY simple but beautiful looking salad with a little bit of wow factor.