Featured Pinch Tips Video
- garland chrysanthemum
- scented geraniums
- zucchini blossoms
Eating borage is said to make us forget our troubles, gives us courage by stimulating our adrenaline and tastes like cucumbers. The leaves or flowers can be put in salads or sauces. Placing the flowers in ice-blocks adds interest to drinks.
The calendula is also known as the Pot Marigold and when the petals are dried they can be added to soups and scrambled egg to add a yellow hue to the dishes in place of saffron. The leaves can also be brewed into a tea.
Carnation (Dianthus) petals must be separated from the calyx and the white base removed before use as it makes eating them very bitter. What you are left with is a clove-like taste, and the petals can be added to jellies, aspics, salads, herb butters and cordials.
The garland chrysanthemum or edible chrysanthemum is well known in Asian cuisine. The leaves can be steamed, stir-fried or boiled and used instead of greens. The petals can also be brewed into a tea. The petals are tangy and go well with lamb.
Use the leaves raw for salads or steam. The flowers are good both cooked and raw and make good wine but remove the white base first and choose buds or young flowers for the honey-like flavor. Don't eat the stems.
The flavor of scented geranium flowers ranges from rose, to lemon to nutmeg and can be added to sorbets, ice creams and desserts. The leaves can also be used and added to soups, stews and sauces for flavor.
My favorite! Add leaves and stems to any green salad for a peppery lift. Flowers can be stuffed with cream cheese, or added to salads. Pickled nasturtium seeds make a cheap caper substitute.
Long used for teas and infusions, the sweeter varieties can be found in the darker colored roses. Miniature roses can be candied and used for cake decorating by using egg whites and castor sugar. Rose hips make good jelly
Most violets are edible, but some yellow species may be slightly cathartic. Flowers can be candied with egg white and castor sugar and used for decorating cakes or desserts. They combine well with scented geranium leaves and lemon balm for a fragrant salad.
A well-known dish that is enjoyed throughout Italy and beyond, uses the male flowers (with no bulge underneath) of the zucchini plant. They are stuffed and fried, or sometimes just coated in a light batter and deep-fried.