Edible flowers, with their vibrant colors, aromatic scents and beautiful shapes, can provide interesting and appetizing accents for decorating a dish, adding extra nutrition and increasing flavor. When choosing an edible flower, consider not only its flavor, but also its appearance (this includes how well it will hold up out of water). Some of these are great cooked, so if you’re adding them to soups or baking them, (as in stuffed daylilies) then that won’t be as important.
Either way, make sure you’re choosing healthy looking flowers at the peak of their bloom – not after. You want to select the most vibrant and fragrant!
Alliums, Allium schoenoprasum
Chives, leeks and garlic are all delicious in green salads, potato and pasta salads as well as dips. Remove the central stem from the flower cluster to release the separate florets. Sometimes I keep them whole and just drop them into a salad or use as a garnish. They’re also great for making compound butter and infused oils and vinegars for salad dressing!
Angelica, Angelica archangelica
Depending on the variety, flowers range from pale lavender blue to deep rose and have a licorice-like flavor.
Anise Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum
If you like the taste of anise, this is the edible flower for you. Separate the florets and add to sweet or savory dishes, or use the full flowers to garnish a cheese plate.
Arugula, Eruca sativa
The flowers are small and white with dark centers. They can be used in a salad for a light flavor. The flowers taste very similar to the leaves and range in color from white to yellowish with dark purple veins.