I love fresh vegetables in the summer. I’ve even been known to sample some of the veggies growing in the garden while I’m weeding. Fresh garden salads make a delicious lunch on their own or as a side dish for dinner. While I love the traditional lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrots in my garden salad, sometimes I like to change things a bit and add a few edible flowers too!
Edible Flowers Make a Beautiful and Tasty Salad
There are many different edible flowers that can be added to salads and dishes. It’s important to make sure the flowers you use have not been exposed to pesticides or chemicals during their growth. I only use flowers that I have grown in my own yard or flowers I purchase from an organic market. Don’t use any flowers that grow near a road, as car exhaust and pollution may be an issue.
Each edible flower has a unique taste and you can experiment to find out which ones are your favorites.
- Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium, syn. C. x grandiflorum) – Chrysanthemums have a slightly spicy taste so you only need a few petals to add a bit of flavor to your favorite salad.
- Daylillies (Hemerocallis) – You will want to harvest the daylilly bud and NOT the flower. Pick the plumpest buds right before they open. These edible flowers can also be sauteed with garlic.
- English lavender (L. angustifolia) – Remove the flowers from the stalk and sprinkle over your salad. You can also add dried lavender seeds to baked goods for a delicious taste.
- Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) – These are beautiful additions to a salad because they are bright, colorful and delicious. If you enjoy watercress, you’ll definitely like nasturtiums.
- Pansies and Johnny Jump Ups (Viola x wittrockiana, V. tricolor) – The edible flower that I use most often in my salads is the pansy. They are very easy to grow in my garden and they often reseed themselves and come back each year. I just pick the blossoms and add a few to each salad.
I encourage you to try one or two of these edible flowers this year when creating your salads. There are other edible flowers you can enjoy as well but these are my favorites. Do you have a favorite that I’ve missed?