Three Edible Flowers You Can Serve at Your Next Dinner Party

16 Jan

Edible Flowers Bring Color and Interest to Your Table

Edible flowers bring simple elegance to your table.

Edible flowers bring simple elegance to your table.

Have you ever tried edible flowers? They are a great way to bring vibrant colors and a unique twist to your table. We’re all accustomed to using herbs for flavor and interest on the plate, but we rarely make the leap to edible flowers.

You can now find fresh petals packaged in the same aisle as the herbs we use so routinely, so there’s no excuse for not brightening your next dinner party with edible flowers on the plate (and of course a stunning arrangement on the table top.) If you can’t find them at the supermarket, many can be grown right in your own backyard. Start planning now for a tasty and gorgeous summer harvest.

A word of warning, make sure you know for certain that the flower you put on the plate is edible. Just because it came on the cake, doesn’t mean it should go in your mouth. If your uncertain, don’t eat it. Also, you’ll want to make sure you use food grade flowers, that are pesticide free. If you buy the packs in the supermarket or grow your own you’ll be fine.

Three Ways to Incorporate Edible Flowers at Your Next Shindig

Pansies

Pansies come in a wide variety of colors, but most often in some luscious shade of purple or brilliant shade of yellow. They have a mild minty flavor that makes them really easy to use. They will work well in savory or sweet dishes alike.

  • Toss them into a salad for a colorful twist on plain greens. What an easy way to impress your guests!
  • Decorate sweets with a single blossom. Think lemony cupcakes with a delicate flower on top.
  • Wrap them into spring rolls. Since you can see through the translucent rice paper wrappers, you can line up a few tiny blooms on the outside layer of fillings for a beautiful presentation.

Rose Petals

Roses are such a classic flower, that it’s hard not to love the idea of roses in your food. They have a strong, sweetish flavor, and much of their culinary interest comes from their fragrance. Our experience of food is very much determined by smell, so roses are a particularly appealing. The more fragrant the better when it comes to edible roses.

  • Spread a bit of rose petal jelly on toast with butter as a light appetizer. You can make your own or you might find some at upscale grocers. Talk about a sophisticated snack!
  • End the meal on a mellow note with rose petal tea. While coffee is a typical meal ender, not everyone wants to head into the night with a head of caffeine. Rose petal tea is a great way to end a meal.
  • Make rose petal vinegar to highlight this super fragrant edible flower. Pour boiling rice wine vinegar over rose petals. Let them steep for a week then use the vinegar for salad dressings and more.

Lavender

While lavender might qualify more as an herb than an edible flower, it is incredibly versatile. It is a classic flavor in many places, and it’s so easy to grow your own.

  • Celebrate your friends with delicious lavender cocktail. This one looks delightful, and easy to make!
  • Serve a main course with a lavender spice mix. Roast lamb with Herbs-de-Provence, a French spice mixture that includes lavender. For a vegetarian crowd, there’s nothing quite like garden fresh rattatoullie, complete with lavender.
  • Bake lavender into your favorite bread recipe for a simple and creative twist on the dinner staple. Serve hot with fresh butter. I guarantee there won’t be left overs!
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