Table of contents:
- How to Harvest and Get the Most Out of Edible Squash Blossoms?
- The edible flowers of chives are full of irresistible flavors
- The flower heads of the mafane brèdes - a unit of medicinal and culinary qualities
- The seeds and edible flowers of the Big Nasturtium
- Medicinal, aroma-therapeutic and gastronomic lavender
- Pansies and other edible flowers with essential fruity flavors
Video: Edible Flowers - 7 Easy-to-grow Plants And Ideas On How To Prepare Them
Be frank, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about edible flowers ? It's probably just broccoli, cauliflower, and artichoke that come to mind, right? Yes, believe it or not, you have consumed flowers before, even if only in the form of salads, soups, entrees and main courses made from the popular flowering vegetables mentioned above!
Or is it those little varieties of pansies that you've seen adorning the dishes of top chefs in the world of cooking shows on TV? In fact, edible flowers are much more than decorations on plates in the best restaurants… They are ingredients highly prized by internationally renowned chefs and we will particularly examine them as such in the paragraphs of this article!
Adding edible flowers to your garden or balcony is an aesthetic and practical way both to cultivate a gourmet ingredient that can be used to flavor your culinary masterpieces, but also to give them more color, shape and color. flavor. The following suggestions will help you expand your repertoire of flowering plants and enjoy them in innovative ways!
How to Harvest and Get the Most Out of Edible Squash Blossoms?
The orange squash corollas are actually edible flowers that can be eaten in a number of different ways. Most often they are stuffed with ricotta or minced meat, breaded and finally fried like donuts. It is used in many Italian recipes as well as in the iconic Mexican squash flower quesadillas.
To include them in your recipes, you will need to harvest the male flowers that grow before the female ones. Keep in mind that the female flowers will develop into the squash themselves and that is why you should not pick them. Okay, but how exactly do we distinguish one from the other so as not to make a mistake? The most important features will be explained right away:
Each male flower (visible on the left in the image above) has a rather long and slender stem, compared to the female flowers which have thick stems and which often end in small, immature zucchini that are already growing at their bases (shown to the right). Another important point when harvesting is to make sure you leave one or two male flowers per plant so that the bees can transfer the pollen to the female flowers and pollinate them.
In this regard, squash pollinator bees are desired garden visitors that you should be careful about, however. The reason is that very often they snuggle up inside the corollas to take a nap. So be careful not to bring the sleepy little bug into your home where it probably won't mix well with children and pets.
The edible flowers of chives are full of irresistible flavors
Chives are an aromatic plant whose leaves are mainly used in raw state as a condiment. But did you know that the cute purple balls that she forms when breeding are actually edible flowers that have the same specific taste as the leaves of the plant and therefore can be eaten in similar ways?
Nothing too specific about harvesting edible civet flowers. It occurs about 2-3 months after planting, most often in late spring. You can simply harvest a few at a time, being careful of the possible presence of aphids.
Then here is a little practical advice if you do not want to use your allium harvest right away. Wrap the purple meatballs in a damp towel and keep them cool in the fridge for a few days to ensure they retain their fresh appearance and taste as much as possible.
Finally, the edible flowers of the chives can be mixed with room temperature butter or with some kind of soft cheese. So, you could prepare a delicious spread for your toast or a good accompaniment for your eggs perfectly flavored with chives.
The flower heads of the mafane brèdes - a unit of medicinal and culinary qualities
Acmella oleracea is a herbaceous plant cultivated for its medicinal and also culinary qualities. The latter are especially popular in South America and Asia, Brazil and India in particular. But its yellow or orange buds (pictured above) are also becoming increasingly popular and prized in other parts of the world.
The edible flowers of the Pará watercress, which was traditionally used to treat toothache and inflammation of the gums, are now very useful in the preparation of cocktails and sorbets as well as in dishes based on lean meat, fish or fruit. seafood as a seasoning with an exotic touch.
The seeds and edible flowers of the Big Nasturtium
Representatives of the genus Tropaeolum, and particularly the large nasturtium, are flowering plants that are perceived as purely ornamental. However, these easy-to-grow annuals also offer us edible flowers and even seeds that we can easily eat!
First cultivated by the Incas in Peru and Ecuador, they currently exist in many attractive colors, and even color combinations in a single plant, so you can choose the perfect palette not only for your garden but also for your garden. your attractive little plate.
A distant relative of watercress, nasturtiums have a delicately peppery taste. Young leaves and tender edible flowers can be added to salads to give them a little pep. Seeds the size of a pea can be stripped from their skin and used like capers!
Medicinal, aroma-therapeutic and gastronomic lavender
Since France is the second largest lavender producer in the world after Bulgaria, you probably already know this flowering shrub of Mediterranean origin. And everyone knows that it is widely used in perfumery thanks to its absolutely magnificent essential oils.
But if you're not particularly seasoned in the kitchen, you might be unaware that lavender leads a double life as an edible flowering plant. No, we are not talking about its infusions in milk or the honey-bearing properties of the plant itself …
You can, for example, add the edible dried flowers of lavender to your shortbread cookies with mandes or lemon, top your Breton pucks with them or sprinkle them directly on your cakes and cupcakes to kill two birds with one stone and perfect them. taste and appearance at the same time.
Last but not least, you can make your own mix of Provence herbs mixed at home and personalize it by adding a few pinches of the precious flower. Use it to season roast lamb or chicken and you will receive applause from your diners.
Pansies and other edible flowers with essential fruity flavors
According to some sources, in Victorian times, pansies and other violas were coated in sugar and eaten as dragees. We can therefore try to restore this sweet tradition and use them in the same way to decorate our desserts and make them correspond to the heightened morale of spring.
Either way, the delicate texture of these edible flowers and their appealing contrasting colors are able to easily transform even an elementary white frosting cake into a magnificent culinary masterpiece that tempts the palate as well as the eyes and sets. immediately mouth watering!
We will end our sheet with the most exotic and least popular edible flowers - those of the Brazilian Guava tree. Their beautiful inflorescences are said to taste the same as their fruits, describing it as sweet, minty and tart simultaneously.