Cooking With Flowers

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My journey in the garden has led me to discover -- and appreciate -- the flowers that grow on some of our edible crops and herbs. Here is where I first learned what a potato flower looks like, a red cabbage blossom, and now the flowers of arugula and kale . That latter two, blooming in my garden right now, look like wildflowers to me. I enjoy their presence just as much for the ornamental quality as I do for the practical purpose; ultimately I hope to collect their seeds.

With so much edible-flower beauty around me, I've taken an interest in the ways in which people have creatively erased the dividing line between what we normally think of as "flowers" or "food." There are so many types of edible flowers, and I've seen some very inventive uses for them around the blogosphere as of late. For just a sampling, check out these recipes:

Elderflower Fritters by MyUrbFarm

Elderflower Champagne by Bliss

Violet Shortbread, made with violet sugar, by Storybook Woods

Violet Jelly by Take Joy! (She has a lot of violets.)

Fried Squash Blossoms from Gardening in Central Florida

Squash Blossom Pancakes from Zenobia

Chive flowers in A Perfect Omelet by Chez Pim

Dandelion Syrup by Adventures in Active Fallow

Dandelion Wine by Snappy's Gardens Blog

This is my own florally flourished recipe -- chive blossom tabbouleh. It features parsley and onions from my garden and, instead of mint (which is called for in traditional tabbouleh recipes), I went with chives.

Chive Blossom Tabbouleh

1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley (enough to make about 1 1/2 cups finely chopped)
1 cup cooked and cooled bulgur wheat
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
A bunch of chopped scallions (as many as you like!)
1 Tbs. chopped chives
Olive oil and juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Chive flowers for garnish

Chop everything and mix it all together. It tastes better the next day once all the flavors are blended. Serve cold or at room temperature.
This entry is part of Weekend Herb Blogging. Visit this week's host, Rinku from Cooking in Westchester, at the end of the weekend for a recap of posts featuring herbs, flowers, and vegetables.


Blogger Storybook Woods said...

Hello there are some great recipes, thank you. I am glad you liked the violet shortbread. I will be posting tomorrow a violet white wine sprinter. Clarice

7:30 PM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Very interesting. I love the idea of using chives in tabbouli. Great links to all those edible flower dishes.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful collection of links. I have bookmarked your post for later reference.


Mama Kelly

7:48 PM  
Blogger anna maria said...

I'm doing the same as Mama Kelly. This post is a wonderful reference for the list of edible flowers as well as for the recipes. Thank you.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Kylee Baumle said...

I have no idea what this might taste like, but it sure is pretty!

2:31 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. Since my chives will be blossoming soon, I will try this. I love Tabbouleh.

Have you ever tried lavender shortbread? It is delicious ... I am off to visit Storybook Woods to find out more about Violet Shortbread.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks delicious. I use edible flowers in my cooking or uncooking quite often.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beatiful photo of Chive flowers, and a fantastic informative post.

I use chive flowers in my foods and I've used violets and rose petals too. My parents used to make Dandelion wine (and rhubarb wine too) and it was fantastic. I've got to try that sometime. You can also eat dandelion greens. They are great in a salad. So are mustard greens.

I'll have to try that recipe some time too.

Visiting for Green Thumb Sunday. :)

3:13 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

My chives are just beginning to bud. Do you grow garlic chives as well? They have beautiful white flowers. I grow many edible plants in my garden.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Storybook Woods,
Your violet sprizter looks great too! Anything with Gewurztraminer works for me.

The chives were really good in this. Something a little different than the traditional recipes with mint.

Mama Kelly, Anna Maria,
Glad you like this. Thanks for bookmarking!

The parsley, onions/garlic and lemon are the dominant flavors in this. The bulgur wheat doesn't have much flavor at all. The chive flowers are more for color than anything else. Individually, the tiny florettes don't taste like much, but a few together really pack an oniony punch!

I've never tried lavender shortbread. I love lavender flowers so I definitely would like to try that sometime.

Opal: vegan momma,
Thanks for stopping by!

Rhubarb wine? That sounds delicious too. I love anything with rhubarb.

Crafty gardener,
I tried growing garlic chives from seed this spring, but without success. I'll keep trying, though. My mom has them in her garden and I know they are wonderful.

Thanks for visiting!

10:22 PM  
Blogger Pim said...

That's a great list you've put together. I had fun looking at everything. Chive flowers tabouleh sounds (and looks) great.


1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The slugs don't like dandelions so I made honey and the chive has also survived, I can try the recipe!

2:24 PM  
Blogger growingagardenindavis said...

Count me as another who thinks chives in tabbouli sounds good...I'm not fond of the mint version although I like mint for other things.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cooking with flowers has inspired us in the Great Big Veg Challenge. We are going to move onto our journey to munch through the A to Z of vegetables. One veg phobic boy is gradually changing his ways!
Any ideas anyone on Dandelions - let us know on

9:47 AM  
Blogger Knitters Notebook said...

What a wonderful recipe! I love using herbs in my recipes. I will have to write this one down:)


9:44 AM  
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3:46 AM  
Blogger joey said...

Love chives ... love tabbouli! I incorporate many flowers in my recipes. Thanks for 'a keeper' recipe :)

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Term papers said...

These flowers are amazing! So colorful and lifelike. Simply Gorgeous!
what a great idea! im sure these will fly off your shelves!!

4:26 AM  

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