About edible flowers:
- Nasturtiums – Nasturtiums have a peppery flavor which lends well to just about any savory dish.
- Pansies – Pansies have a mild semi-sweet wintergreen flavor that pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. They float flat in liquids, too, which can make them extra fun to experiment with.
- Micro Flower Blend – a blend of tiny flowers that varies with what’s freshest at the farm. This blend typically includes flowers like Micro Marigolds, Sun Daisies, Dianthus, White Mums, Bachelor Buttons, Micro Orchids and/or Starflowers. Some of the flowers in the micro blend can be bitter, but the blend can be used in many ways.
We had a great time visiting the local markets and picking up some artisanal ingredients to pair with these beautiful flowers. We couldn’t settle on just one way to use them so we came up with a few different uses and had an picnic this past Saturday while dining al fresco on our balcony.
Smoked Salmon Toasts with Edible Flowers
My first idea was to pair the flowers with jewel-like salmon. I usually don’t like cured or smoked salmon, but I did my research and visited a place that specializes in smoking meats, Neopol Savory Smokery. They had several different types of salmon so we took home the traditional, Thai, and Green Tea smoked salmons. The salmon was layered on top of some toasted rye bread, cream cheese we mixed with chives, and topped with pickled golden beets and edible micro flowers.
Rhubarb Macarons with Edible Microflowers and Lemon Curd Filling
I had originally planned to make some earl grey madelines decorated with microflowers, but I could not find my madeline pan anywhere! I must have been crazy because I decided to take a crack at making macarons for the first time ever! I found this excellent resource for macarons on brave tart that not only said I didn’t need to age my egg whites, but had very specific instructions for every step along the way.
After adding a dash of rhubarb syrup to the mix, I piped the macarons and topped them with the flowers before baking. Some didn’t develop the macaron “feet”, but they were all delicious! I filled most with lemon curd but some were extra lucky and were filled with cookie butter.
Flowers go extremely well with this crisp, floral, and refreshing cocktail. This drink is easy to make with only a few ingredients, and it seems to be great in the winter or the spring! You can get the recipe, which is from the PDT cocktail book, here.
Earl Grey Cake with Elderflower Cream Cheese Filling
I wanted to use the larger flowers in an edible capacity as well. I candied some pansies since they have a sweeter profile than nasturtiums. I lined a pan with preserved cherry blossoms and micro flowers then poured an earl grey cake batter over them. Like sweet sushi, I lined the cake with cream cheese filling flavored with some elderflower syrup, then added a layer of fresh pansies. I rolled the cake up and chilled it overnight. After slicing the cake I topped it with pieces of the candied flowers.
I brought this cake into work and everyone loved it! Some were a little wary of the flowers, but some ate the candied flowers whole and even had seconds of the cake.
Thank you to Marx Foods for sending me these amazing flowers to play with! I am participating in the Edible Flower Photography challenge — voting is through their instagram so head on over to see the other entries starting 5/5!