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All summer I bring in flowers from the garden and wild ones from the fields. Sometimes they’re in a bouquet, whose bright colors bring the outdoors in. But often they’re just some odd treasure that appeals to me — a handful of daisies picked by a grandchild or one neon-violet artichoke blossom. I’ll stick it in a glass on the windowsill above the sink, along with glasses of herbs such as parsley and mint. Some, like those herbs, are there for the eating, too.

Cooking with flowers is delightful but complex. You don’t go out and pick a peck of petals unless you are, say, drying chamomile blossoms for a winter’s supply of tea. Few of us have the time to craft elegant ice cubes in which flowers are suspended or to roll cylinders of flower butter, frozen and cut into disks to melt artfully atop your steak.

Still, I like to scatter a few petals on a dish that needs an accent. Petals from a single orange calendula, strewn over plain green lettuce, make up for a lack of tomatoes. Once I put together a salad of sliced cucumbers, onions and fennel, to serve at a potluck. The sour cream and yogurt with which I dressed it was blandly white until a dismembered dandelion perked it up. We appreciate food with all our sensory organs, including the eye.

Some petals have an appealing flavor, too. The globe of a chive blossom, picked apart and scattered over something, is a little onion bomb, zesty and bright purple to boot. Lavender florets are also high-impact if you pluck each one carefully, leaving the less-appetizing calyx behind. Nasturtiums are a little peppery and roses a little sweet. Daylilies are also sweet if very fresh, with a bit of crunch. Read More on washingtonpost

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