I sure do love having you over- thanks so much for stopping by, would you like to stay for a quick bite? You would? Oh good! Why don’t we head out to the flower garden for a few ingredients and I’ll throw together something I bet you’ve never tasted! Yes, that’s right, the flower garden not the vegetable garden…I’ll explain as we walk out there.
Just a bit ago, my sister-in-law and I escaped to take an Edible Flowers class at Leu Gardens. They offer all types of classes from outdoor potting to bee keeping for beginners to basket weaving and other horticulture topics. I’ve enjoyed several of the classes I’ve taken and I really like the seasonal variety they offer. So my SIL Kelly and I came back from the Edible Flowers class fully equipped and inspired to start our own hybrid florist and catering business! But as you can see that didn’t happen, so instead how about I make you the most beautiful lunch you’ve ever seen?
So the neatest thing I learned is many of the flowers we know about are edible. Of course err on the side of caution and you should only eat organic flowers. So the ones from a typical florist aren’t necessarily safe to eat. You should look for an actual organic florist who markets edible flowers. And I’ve actually seen a small packet in the produce department before, so you could check there. Okay, so now that we have the ground rules, here’s a list of flowers you can eat- and we’re talking about the petals primarily, to keep things easy.
Edible Flowers you’ve heard of are Cosmos, Roses, Okra Blossoms, Marigolds, Pansies, Violas, Sweet William, Dandelion, Fennel Flowers, Squash Blossoms, Basil, Rosemary.
Poisonous Ones include the flowers on these- Night Shade Family, Eggplant, Tomato, Potato, Chili Peppers, Bell Peppers
So once we found out our parameters, we were treated to a delicious several course meal in an outdoor kitchen at Leu Gardens. The class was intimate and very hands on which made it fun! We first started with a refreshing popsicle as this is Florida and we were outside. It had Elderflower syrup which made it one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had.
Next we had a goat cheese crostini covered in delicate flowers. It actually reminded me of making a sushi roll- same concept! First you take flower petals and cut them into small pieces and lay them on a paper towel. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper and any other seasoning you wish. Then starting at one end, lay your elongated goat cheese across the paper towel and slowly roll the towel. While it rolls, pat the cheese with the flowers and it will stick naturally. When you’re finished the petals will have adhered to the cheese and you can lay it on a serving dish. Super easy and so impressive to see and taste! Then lightly brush crostini slices with olive oil and toast them if you wish and add the slices of goat cheese.
For this recipe we prepared hand tossed squash blossom pizza! It was amazing how flavorful this pizza was with the squash blossoms- but it was almost too pretty to eat!
And last, we prepared a cake topped with sugared rose petals. What you do first is brush petals with egg whites and dip them in sugar. Then lay them on a pan and toast them at 170 degrees for 30 minutes. They added just enough crunch along with crushed pistachios to the top of this cake.
So after taking this class I don’t mind the saying “you are what you eat”! I wouldn’t mind smelling and looking like a flower! So go ahead an pick out a few flowers and we’ll make a spread together.
Please let me know if you like to eat or cook with flowers! Instagram is the easiest way to get my attention, so let’s become friends over there. Cheers!