Although it may be hard to imagine, some flowers lend themselves to more than a pretty bouquet. Edible flowers like pansies, lavender, and squash blossoms can be used in everything from drinks to dessert. If you don't believe us or still need a little convincing, we have eight fresh pickings that are sure to sway even the most skeptical. From cocktails to cakes, these recipes will bring flavor and a bit of flower power to your next meal. Click through to seem them all.
If we had to count the ways we love squash blossoms, it might take a while, so let's compromise with a few highlights. These farmers market favorites have a delicate flavor, are eye-catching to say the least, and are practically designed to be stuffed with all matter of delectable fillings. What's more, it always feels a bit magical — unreal even — to dine on these and other edible flowers. Whether you prefer your blossoms fried, shredded, or atop a pizza, we've found a recipe worth trying. Click through to seem them all.
April showers may bring May flowers, but I'm an impatient lady, as I want the world to be in full bloom already. My solution is simple: I turn to the home bar when in need of a floral fix. A swirl of lavender simple syrup and a dash of Page's Parfait Amour — a crème de violette analogue — dress up the classic Tom Collins cocktail for a sipper that transports you to sunnier days.
Wary of floral elements in food? I was too, not so long ago. The key is restraint, as the line between lovely and eau de old lady is fine. Thankfully, this cocktail is well balanced, refreshing, and could convert all but the most stalwart floral food haters. What are you waiting for? Transport yourself to a field of lavender the fast-fix way.
Slices of pink grapefruit also adorn the salad. If you do not like the bitterness of grapefruit, try salting it before tossing the slices in with the greens. It neutralizes the tartness, letting the essence of the grapefruit flavor shine through. Slices of watermelon radish add a bit of crunch and vibrant color. Compared to other radishes out there, watermelon radish is mild in spiciness, plus it's fun to chomp on a naturally neon pink food!Finally, Point Reyes Toma, a semihard cow's milk cheese, provides a creamy, buttery counterpart to the salad. Everything is tossed in a very simple vinaigrette to let the fresh ingredients dazzle your taste buds.
Who doesn't dream of owning a cute little pied-à-terre in Paris, combing the markets for fresh French food and cooking it in a tiny European kitchen? Until that becomes a reality, we'll have to resort to watching Rachel Khoo's Little Paris Kitchen on the Cooking Channel. The show is everything the name implies; it follows a charming British cook as she creates glorious French cuisine in the tiniest of kitchens.
Recently, I watched an episode where Rachel makes a lavender roasted chicken, and the video stuck with me for weeks before I finally did some serious digging to retrieve the recipe. That is, until the publishers sent us her latest cookbook, which is as quaint and enticing as the cooking show.
When the sizzling, caramelized pieces of chicken come out of the oven, Rachel recommends taking a bit of crusty bread and dipping it into the pan juices to sample the flavors. My oh my, this chicken will make you fall in love with lavender, if you haven't already. It hits all the right sweet and savory notes, providing just enough floral flavor and herbaceousness to perk you up on a cold Winter night. The recipe is halved on purpose, because the lavender chicken has all the right potential for a dreamy date night like Valentine's Day.
My favorite way to employ it during hot weather is with this ingenious seasonal salad by Melissa Clark. Start by toasting farro, until it's nutty and golden brown; toss in parsley, scallions, lemon juice, and cherry tomatoes, for a meatier riff on tabbouleh; then top with crumbled cheese fricos for a crispy, salty finish.
For more substance, I served this salad with a side of grilled shrimp and Italian salsa verde, but you could add other seafood like scallops or lump crabmeat. Or, as Melissa suggested, bits of salumi: "Cubes of pancetta or sopressata would be killer!" she told me. Great — I've got an excuse to make this again sometime soon. Keep reading for the basic recipe.
What could be more gratifying on a sweltering day than a platter of fat and juicy tomatoes, fresh off the vine? I ask that question each year when the season rolls around and, without fail, come up with nothing for an answer.
At this weekend's farmers market, when I spotted heirloom tomatoes by the crateful in a rainbow of colors, I couldn't help but bring several pounds home.
I used my loot — a mixture of green zebras, Cherokees, and yellow brandywines — as the star of a dish so unembellished, I'm not sure I would call it a salad. I sliced the fruits into thin rounds, then drizzled them with high-quality Italian olive oil.
A flaky sea salt helps round out the tomatoes' impossibly sweet flesh; I also added dollops of burrata to cut through the acidity and young leaves of basil to bring out the herbaceousness of the tomatoes. I devoured the dish right away and derived such visceral pleasure from eating it that I guarantee next week I'll be making the salad again. Keep reading to savor this Summer fruit the same way.