We’re getting near the end of our little series of edible flowers. I hope you learned something and feel more confident in using a variety of flowers in your cooking and food preparations. The next three are probably very familiar to you, (or maybe not) but all of them are delicious used in a culinary setting.
Radish, Raphanus sativus
We’re used to eating radish roots, and oftentimes don’t think about the flowers. Radish flowers have a distinct radish-y (I think I made up a word there) flavor. They’re delicious in salads, (if you haven’t noticed that’s sort of the go-to for using flowers) as well as thrown into sautés, cooked grains and stews/soups just before serving. If you add them too soon, they’ll wilt terribly and not hold their flavor well.
Rose, Rosa spp.
All rose buds and petals are edible and have been used extensively in Middle Eastern cooking. One thing I want you to look out for before tossing these into your cuisine… make sure they haven’t been treated with anything or sprayed with pesticides. Adding toxins to your food is not part of the goal here. This is true of all flowers, but especially cultivated roses you buy at a nursery. So either pick wild roses or grow your own without chemicals. Some culinary ideas would be cookies, cakes, ice cream, add them to grain dishes or couscous, make rose water, tea, ice cubes, jam and sprinkle them in cocktails (here and here). The hips are full of vitamin C, but can be a little tedious to work with because you’ll need to remove any of the hairs found inside the hip if you want to use them in things such as jam, fruit leather or ice pops.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
I love rosemary! Every year, I bring at least one of our plants inside to hopefully preserve it through the winter. It’s tough where we are, and it definitely struggles along. If you live in a warmer, sunnier climate, you will be blessed with white or light lavender flowers that have a similar but more delicate flavor of rosemary. They’re lovely additions to drinks, salads (yep, you guessed it ?) and used to garnish heavier meats such as lamb, beef and pork.