Walking through the garden in June is a THRILLING experience for any foodie. It’s crazy exciting to see the newest crops come in. Peas, lettuce greens of all kinds and this week we got our first handful of June strawberries! We eat salad nearly every night with my cut and come again crops all ready for harvest. To make it more interesting, I have started adding all kinds of flowers to the bowl. Each of these flowers grow in my yard and each one has a different flavor to test and enjoy!
Sage flowers - If you like sage, you will love this burst of sage flavor in your salads. These sweet little flowers have a mild sagey type flavor which reminds me of a yummy herb sausage gravy. I love to add these to a savory salad with a nice sliced chicken breast over the top and some white wine dressing.
Chive flowers - These babies are my favorite! The mild onion flavor and pop of purple is perfect for just about any salad, sweet or savory. I add them to Italian salads most often, but I have even been known to put them on baked potatoes to add that chive flavor with a pop of color.
Broccoli flowers - Broccoli flowers were something I remember from growing up. Broccoli doesn’t grow here well, and takes to bolting the first warm day of the season. So my mom always used to use the flowers as garnish or in salads. As a kid I would just eat them raw from the garden beds. They have a mild sweet flavor, which only has a hint of broccoli flavor.
Pea flowers - They taste like… pea flowers. There is no other way to describe them. They taste just like the sweet green fruit they create but with a lighter flavor and are a beautiful addition to any dish that would be yummy with peas. Add them to cooked dishes at the last second as these delicate little things will wilt quickly in the heat but if kept cold they will keep for quite a while with your salad greens.
Daylily flowers - The buds and petals of these large flowers are used in a variety of dishes. I will put them around the outside of my salads for a larger pop of color. They have a light bean type flavor and a good crunch if used fresh. I have even used the petals as a finger food with a dollop of hummus placed in the rib of each petal. Online I have most often seen the flower buds sautéed in garlic and butter for a yummy side dish. In many places in the country they are a noxious weed (meaning like to take over any space they can). If you are in one of those places, go on out and collect some for your supper! But make sure they are not sprayed with anything first. (More about that here)
Rose Petals - Did you know you could eat roses? They are beautiful tucked into a dish as a garnish, but you can actually eat the petals of this lovely flower! They have a light ‘rose’ flavor and wilt quickly, so only use them if you can get them super fresh. They are a wonderful classy way to add a pop of color to the top of a champagne glass or dribbled on a fresh garden salad.
Violets - This sweet and flowery little plant is famous for it’s edible flowers. But unlike the peppery flower of the nasturtium, the violet has a very mild flavor that kids enjoy. This is probably the most versitile flower in my garden, for although it has a dark and bright color, it brings so little flavor to whatever dish you are putting together that it can be put on top of a potato salad or dropped into a sweet martini and it will fit right in.
How many of these beauties do you have in your garden?