Flowers aren’t just for show, they’re also delicious and useful!
Many flowers are great as salad garnishes!
Borage: Borage flowers taste as nice as they look. They’re a little sweet and taste like cucumber, and are delicious on their own or as a salad garnish. I personally can’t help but eat a few whenever I’m out in the garden. The entire blossom can be eaten, though it is recommended that you remove the fuzzy outer leaves before eating. The flowers aren’t the only useful part of this prickly plant! You can add a cucumber-y flavor to all sorts of dishes, since younger leaves can be eaten raw if you can palate the fuzziness, but otherwise borage leaves can be chopped up and put in soups or stir-fry.
Violas: These adorable little blossoms are perfect as a garnish. Throw them on salads, pasta, or any dish you think could use a pop of color. Violas can come in a whole variety of colors, including but not limited to purple, orange, yellow, or white.
Calendula: Calendula petals are good on salad, but they also have medicinal and anti-inflammatory purposes. You can make calendula salve yourself using calendula petals, olive or coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils if you feel so inclined. Check out this recipe to make your own!
Sunflower: The seeds aren’t the only edible part of the sunflower! In fact, from the roots to the petals, every aspect of the sunflower plant is edible. Check out this website to see a number of different ways to make the most of your sunflower plant.
You can also cook the head of the flower. After removing the leaves, petals, buds, and stem, you’re left with something similar to an artichoke heart. This recipe recommends braising the sunflowers, check it out if you’re interested in being adventurous with your flowers!
Autumn Beauty Sunflowers
Nasturtium: Nasturtiums are a peppery plant with many uses. Firstly, the flowers and the young leaves are excellent in salads. The flowers can also be infused in vinegar by pouring hot vinegar over a few flowers and letting them cool and steep for a day. Nasturtium leaves can also be blended into pesto sauces or stir fried.
Mint Marigold: Mint Marigold can be used to garnish salads, as well as to season chicken and fish. It can also be used to brew anise-flavored tea.
Mexican Mint Marigold
Squash Blossoms: Squash blossoms are an incredibly delicious treat, but you have to be careful about which ones you harvest in order to also get squash. There are male and female flowers, and the female flowers eventually turn into fruit. Female flowers are attached to what look like miniature versions of whatever squash you have growing, while male flowers grow directly from stems. Harvest the male flowers and leave the females to make fruit, but make sure you leave a few male flowers to pollinate the females. Squash blossoms are good on salads, stir fried, stuffed with cheese, or pickled.
Male squash blossom on the left, female on the right
Asian Greens: Even if your asian greens have bolted, you can still use the yellow flowers as salad garnish!
Bolted Asian Green Blossoms
When in doubt, google! There are so many more recipes and uses for these plants that can be listed here!