Like many of you, I love all things flowers, food, and fashion. That’s the idea behind Flowers on Food on You. Every few weeks, I’ll feature a piece of floral-patterned clothing and create a dish around it using edible flowers, because the only thing better than wearing florals is eating them.
When it comes to the food world, flowers have gotten the short end of the stem. But just like fruit, herbs and vegetables, many flowers are packed with flavor, texture, nutrients, and add beauty to any dish you can imagine. And we’re going to imagine a lot here – I’m talking drinks, desserts, salads, main dishes. You name it, we’re gonna put flowers on it.
Too much? Well, that’s kinda the beauty of this series. There is no such thing as too much. More is simply more. When in doubt, put some flowers on it.
People have cooked with edible flowers for thousands of years. You’re probably familiar with seeping dried flowers in tea, or sugaring rose petals. In fact, if you’ve ever eaten an artichoke, then you’ve eaten a flower. See? Not so weird.
That’s not to say that all flowers are edible. Ultimately, my goal is to provide you with resources for safe, organic (this is a must! No walking into Home Depot and grabbing a pesticide-sprayed pot of pansies!), beautiful recipes.
Flowers can be an acquired taste. There is no shame in placing a few flowers on a dish just for presentation, then removing them before the meal. If you’re more adventurous, an easy way to get used to their taste and texture is to coat them in salad dressing, much like we do with vegetables or to spruce up bland-tasting salad leaves. Eventually, you will become an edible flower-eating master, giving new meaning to the phrase, “flower power!”
Choose your favorite cake mix and bake into 2 9-inch round pans.
MINT-BLUE VANILLA FROSTING
Buy or make your favorite white frosting and add 1 drop orange and 1 drop blue food coloring per 2 cups of frosting. Mix until frosting turns mint-blue.
ORGANIC FLOWERS (to ensure organic quality, I’m excited to try Gourmet Sweet Botanicals. They’ll deliver right to your door!)
4 yellow roses (can substitute calendulas or marigolds)
4 orange roses (can substitute calendula or marigolds)
2 orange and 2 red celosia plumosas (or 2 large orange and 2 large red carnations or firestix)
12 scented (not zonal) white gardenias (can substitute white begonias or jasmine)
8 red impatiens (can substitute nasturtiums)
10 dark purple violets — NOT the same as African violets, which are poisonous! (can substitute small dark purple buds, such as bean flowers)
5 lavender violas (can substitute chive blossoms)
12 verbena flowers (can substitute cilantro blossoms)
1) Use them the same day if possible. Most will stay preserved in a vase of water in the fridge. When ready to use, wash and dry flowers thoroughly.
2) Remove the stem and base of flowers with hardier stems (namely, the roses). Do this by pinching the petals in place and gently pulling them in one large clump from the base. Place on frosting immediately to keep the floral shape. For remaining flowers, the stems are thin and edible. Just cut them as close to the flower as possible.
3) Using our pictures as a guide, position the largest flowers first and style the medium, then smaller flowers around those. Trail the flowers down one end of the cake in a “V” shape. The wonderful thing about decorating with flowers is it’s impossible to mess up. No matter how you style them, they’re going to look beautiful.
4) Place in fridge until right before serving.