Culinista Kitchen®

6 Edible Flowers That Will Add Beauty and Unique Texture To Your Summer Dishes

Chef chopping chives, dill and other plants as dinner preparation.

by The Culinistas

Flower power is making a comeback on our plates. While flowers on the plate used to mean fussy, delicate, overly tweezed cuisine, the new wave of floral dining is about celebrating the garden, the earth, and bringing unexpected layers of flavor to the plate.

Culinary flowers have been used for centuries. Ancient Romans added lavender to sauces, 17th-century French spirit makers used carnation petals for liqueurs and Queen Victoria adored them, in everything. They’re pretty scattered over our Honeydew & Kiwi, or delicately floating on our Tomato Gazpacho. They provide unique texture, crunch and aroma. If that wasn’t enough, they are nutritious. We told you: flower power.

We hope you’re as convinced as we are, and ready to get planting. We’ve picked our favorite edibles for you to grow – whether sprinkled on a salad, incorporated into a cocktail or candied for a cake, these blooms promise to add a delicate touch to your summer entertaining.

1.Calendula petals

“Poor man’s saffron”, this golden flower does taste like saffron when it’s sautéed in olive oil. Use it to infuse a beautiful olive oil, or scatter them on your next deviled egg for additional spice.

2.Zucchini blossoms

Zucchini plants’ ethereal yellow flowers have a subtle, slightly sweet taste. Take the time to stuff them – herbed flecked soft cheese is ideal – or place them on pizza for a Meditteranean summer feel.

3. Hibiscus petals

Tart and sweet, they carry a cranberry-like flavor that will elevate any of your party drinks. Tip: drop some fresh hibiscus buds into bubbles for a red wow.

4. Lavender buds

We find that lavender’s distinct bouquet works miracles in desserts. This summer, we’ll serve our peach & nectarine crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, and top with lavender.

5. Rose petals

Perfumer’s favorite classics emote a subtle and fruity flavor when paired with sweet foods, notably red fruit. Incorporate them into your next batch of raspberry or strawberry jam, or place them on our Berry Bowl for a touch of grace.

6. Borage blossoms

Perhaps your easiest way into floral cooking, these small blue blossoms have a very mild cucumber flavor, that lend well as garnish on almost any dish. At cocktail hour, add them to your next G&T.

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.