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Flowers & Food

Flowers & Food

To celebrate the Chelsea Flower Show this week, we are looking at some of the edible flowers that can add a very seasonal special edge to your meal.

Most flowers are for smelling and not eating - but there are exceptions and you can’t just eat any flower. However, Edible flowers add colour, flavour and texture to savoury and sweet dishes, as well as cordials and butters. A wide range of annuals and perennial edible flowers can be grown in the garden from early spring to late autumn. Children can be encouraged to take an active interest in growing and preparing food through edible flowers.

The most famous edible bloom is the courgette flower. You will find lots of recipes online for ricotta stuffed courgette flowers and I rather like the sound of this one with added sultanas and pine nuts .  

If you are thinking of using flowers - I’d really recommend buying edible flowers from a reputable supplier rather than picking your own – as you need to know what you are doing - here is a guide from the Royal Horticultural Society on how edible flowers.

Some of the more often used flowers are:

Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) – used to make wine and cordials, or place in a muslin bag to flavour tarts and jellies, remove before serving. Elderflowers can be dipped in batter and deep fried. 

Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) – flavoured sugar, honey or vinegar can be used to in cakes and biscuits while sprigs compliment roast pork, lamb and chicken

Bergamot (Monarda didyma) – a strong spicy scent, makes good tea and complements bacon, poultry, rice and pasta

There are some great unusual dishes including Flowering Chives and Pork, Beef Stew with Edible Flowers and Duck Breast with Lavender.

And here is a range of dishes using edible flowers from Great British Chefs.

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