Often we have edible flowers in our gardens, but don’t think of them as usable. Many
herbs, vegetables and ornamental flowers have petals which can be
plucked and parleyed into pretty palatable dishes.
Sometimes edible flowers are mild tasting and and sometimes they
surprise us with flavor as bold as the herb itself, which is the case of
the Conehead Thyme flowers ( pictured on the right). This
discovery is whimsical and is one reason edible flowers are just
Edible flowers are flights of fancy that can be added as
garnish to salads, butters, vinegars, sugars and savory meat dishes. Some can be
candied, some can be dried or frozen, but most are best fresh. Usually, it is
better to use the individual petals when incorporating them into food. The base
of the petal or the calyx can be bitter or off tasting. For decorating, whole
flowers and even clusters of flowers may be used.
As with all plants we eat, be sure you know the flower is
edible and has not been sprayed with toxic pesticides or herbicides or
fertilized with chemical fertilizers. Never use flowers from the florist. Wash
flowers gently before using and lay on a towel to dry or blot carefully.