Celebrate Spring by Cooking with Flowers

Spring has sprung, and in many areas of the country flowers are already beginning to bloom..For a lovely spring-time table, consider bringing some of the outdoors inside, by adding flowers to your springtime meals.

There are many delicious and beautiful flowers that can add a sense of flair to your spring time menu.

Violets have a gentle, sweet flavor and are also a colorful way to add presentation to your favorite salads, sweets, and beverages. A single layer of fresh violet blossoms can top off your favorite cakes, and confections. Use them to garnish salads, or float them in your iced beverages.

Candied violets are also a sweet sensation, that you can create with little time or effort. Children will enjoy having candied violets for a snack or fun dessert item.

– To make candied violets boil 1/2 cup water with 1 cup sugar, until slightly thickened. Dip washed violets in sugar, then allow to dry. They will retain their bright colors and shapes, if you handle them gently.
– A second way to make candied violets is to simply brush the washed flowers with beaten egg white. Dip in sugar, and dry till hardened.

Apple blossoms are another sweeter tasting flower variety. They have a lovely aroma, and are one of the first harbingers of spring. Consider topping apple pie, baked apples or apple cake with a row of the pretty white blossoms. You can use apple blossoms just as you would violets, for desserts, drinks, and salads.

You can also candy apple blossoms following the same recipe given for candied violets.

Basil flowers have a taste similar to the leaves of the plant, which is often used in Italian cookery. Garnish pasta or pasta salads, garden and chef salads with these lovely little blooms for an eye appealing dish, that is sure to impress anyone, especially the kids.

Broccoli Florette’s are bright yellow. They are an attractive, and delicious addition to salads, broccoli soups, when used to garnish a cream dish, or even a stir-fry. The flavor is similar to the taste of broccoli, so use these flowers wherever you would use broccoli itself.

Carnation petals are surprisingly sweet, and with all of the color varieties, highly attractive for desserts, drinks and even with breakfast foods, such as French toast, pancakes, donuts, etc… It is best to use the petals apart from the base of the flower, due to bitterness. Carnations petals can be steeped in wine, and sprinkled with sugar. Line an attractive bowl with petals prepared in this way. Add a scoop of ice cream, and one or two tea-type cookies, for an attractive, elegant springtime dessert.

Citrus blossoms- lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit blossoms, have a strong citrus flavor. Use these sparingly to garnish beverages, fruit salads and fruit and cheese plates. Try also as a garnish with fruit sorbets or citrus flavored cakes.

Source:
1. Easy Dessert Recipes to Celebrate Spring | What's Cooking
2. Recipes That Celebrate Spring – Cooking – The New York Times