EDIBLE FLOWERS

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Not just for show, edible flowers can add spice
and depth of flavor to a summertime dinner menu

LOCALLY SOURCED EDIBLE FLOWERS

anise hyssop
calendula
chamomile
chives
columbine
dandelions
lavender
nasturtiums
marigolds
pansies
roses
squash blossoms

IF YOU’VE NEVER TASTED A NASTURTIUM,
NOW’S THE TIME.

Most of our locally sourced edible flowers are in full bloom at the peak of summer heat. Some, such as dandelions and chives, bloom in Spring and early June – but they will often put out a scattered round of late-season blossoms, so be on the lookout for these as well.

BEFORE YOU TASTE IT …

Be sure you are absolutely sure the plant was grown without any chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers that accumulate on blossoms, making flowers more toxic than other parts of the plant. In other words, don’t wildcraft your edible flowers from, say, the gorgeous marigold and pansy planters on the Cooper Avenue Mall in Aspen.

Instead, talk with your friends at your favorite farmer’s market. Or ask your next-door Deadheads if they will let you deadhead their chives. (Promise them a round of the Boozy Blossom recipe and you’ll be well on your way toward a neighborly last-minute potluck.)

WHEN HARVESTING EDIBLE FLOWERS

Hold trumpet-shaped blossoms such as nasturtiums upside-down and shake them gently so earwigs and other critters can escape. (Organic gardeners will say that critters inside blossoms are a very good thing.)

DON’T EAT THE WHOLE THING

Some edible flowers come from plants whose leaves, stems or roots are poisonous.  If in doubt, stick with the blossom.

SAVE IT FOR LATER

It’s is easy to dry flowers in our arid climate. The best edibles to dry are chamomile, chives, lavender, marigolds, pansies, and roses. 


EDIBLE FLOWER RECIPES


Edible flowers: boozy blossoms

BOOZY
BLOSSOMS

This summer cocktail mixer works well with lavender, roses, marigolds, or chamomile.
It can be adapted for any spirit. 

INGREDIENTS:

white sugar – 2 cups
water – 2 cups
roses or chamomile – 2 cups
lavender or marigolds – 1 cup

gin, vodka, bourbon, or tequila
fresh blossoms for garnish


PROCESS

Make an edible flower syrup by bringing sugar, water, and blossoms to a low simmer in a non-aluminum pan. Create the purple color shown here in our Spiked Lavender Lemonade by adding a quarter-cup of fresh or frozen blueberries to the syrup.

Reduce the volume by one-third.

Cool, strain, pour into a bottle.

COMBINE THE FOLLOWING IN A SHAKER:

2 ounces of booze per pour

1 ounce of flower syrup per pour
crushed ice

Feel free to add mixers and follow your instincts when combining flavors. The Spiked Lavender Lemonade shown here contains 6 ounces of Santa Cruz Organic lemonade per pour.

Shake, strain, pour, garnish, share, sip, repeat.


EDIBLE FLOWER
COMPOUND
BUTTER

Just so you know – “compound” is only a fancy way of saying “flavored butter.”

Try this with any edible flower. Chives and nasturtiums bring spice to corn on the cob. Add a little honey if you try this with anise or pansies. Keep in the fridge for one week.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound salted butter
a handful of blossoms from edible flowers

PROCESS

Allow butter to soften at room temperature.

Gently rinse and dry the flowers and fold them into the butter, mixing slowly to avoid crushing the blossoms.

Press the edible flower-butter mixture into a silicone ice cube tray or candy mold.  Or, scoop it directly into the serving bowl you plan to use. Chill. Keep refrigerated for up to one week.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Fancify your pancakes. Add some crazy fun to your corn-on-the-cobb. Get daring with mashed potatoes.


PRETTY
PIZZA

You can’t go wrong scattering edible flowers on your ZA. Do this with squash blossoms, calendula, dandelions, columbines, chives, and flowers from your favorite culinary herbs, such as basil and thyme. This is a “white” pizza because a red sauce will overpower the subtle flavors of the flowers.

INGREDIENTS

pizza dough. (Frozen, fresh, scratch, gluten-free, your call)

2 cups mozzarella
4 oz goat cheese
1 jar alfredo sauce

A handful of blossoms

PROCESS 

You know the deal. Just add the edible flowers last.

The pizza shown here features zucchini squash blossoms. If you find a small fingerling with the blossom intact, brush the zucchini with a small amount of olive oil before baking. Otherwise, the zucchini may dry out or become rubbery.

In the summer, a hot oven can make your house warm and stuffy.  Try baking pizza in your barbecue grill. A high-temp grill and charcoal flames can mimic a wood-fired pizza oven. Just know that cooking times will be shorter.

BLESSINGS ON YOUR BLOSSOMS

(A favorite summer dinnertime blessing)

Blessings on our blossoms, blessings on our roots, blessings on our leaves and stems and blessings on our fruits.


LEARN MORE

Edible Flower Nasturtium artwork shown above: created by Elana Royer of LILYBART

THE PERFECT BACKYARD BURGER RECIPE
by Kathryn Camp, with the help of Jerilyn Nieslanik of NIESLANIK BEEF

FIND EDIBLE FLOWERS at your favorite local Farmer’s Markets

Aspen Saturday Market
Basalt Sunday Market
Carbondale Farmers Market (on Wednesdays)

About Kathryn Camp

MOUNTAIN PARENT Editor & Designer • When Kathryn is not at her desk with MP, she cycles, snowboards, skis, writes fiction and keeps bees in downtown Carbondale with her teenage children, husband Rich, and their wayward husky-coyote Zelda.