Your Summer Edible Flowers Guide 

Edible flowers in summer are a delicious, colourful and seasonal way to liven up your recipes, whether we’re talking about sweet or savoury or a refreshing spritzer or summery beverage enjoyed amongst friends. Take a look at some of our favourite blossoms, herbs and spices for adding flare and flavour to any number of dishes:

You would be surprised by how many edible flowers there are to choose from. Below we have a sampling of several favourites, more or less, that will give you a diverse taste of what the season’s edible flowers have to offer. Enjoy!

Elder flower and Elder berries 

Infusions and cordials, wines, ciders and syrups are all fantastic uses for this sweet and versatile edible flower. Elder flowers and berries can be combined in order to make your own elderberry wine.  

If you are in more of a savoury mood, however, then look no further—by dipping your fresh elder flowers in a simple batter you can enjoy them deep fried.

Primrose and Cowslips

These sunny little flowers are perfect as garnish on sandwiches and for brightening up your salads, sitting alongside or atop of fresh lettuces, cress and arugula.

Confectioners also have fun crystallising primrose and cowslip petals for cake decoration. At summer parties, events and evening receptions, try freezing flowers into ice cubes for cocktails.

Marigolds

Intense flavour in this one—and should be eaten sparingly, as large amounts of marigolds may be harmful—but they offer a flash of colour and are a tad sharp on the palate (peppery notes, citrus). Just a little of the leaves and flowers will come through in hot soups, fish stews, fresh leafy salads, puddings and warm desserts.

You can also use dried petals to make your own pickled vegetables, oils, infusions, or butter sauce reductions. 

Sunflowers

Incredibly, and perhaps a surprise to some people, it’s not just the seeds of sunflowers that are edible. Those big, buoyant and beautiful blossoms—buds and petals—are yours to eat and enjoy.

Sunflower petals provide a subdued, pleasant and nutty flavour, and will add a dash of colour for fresh salads and in both cream-based and light vegetable broth or thinner soups, such as a summer gazpacho.

Want your sunflower as an appetiser or accompaniment to the main course? No problem at all. Just try blanching the whole sunflower buds in water first, then sauteing them up with butter and garlic. Delicious!

Lavender 

This luscious little leaf as well as its flowers can be enjoyed freshly picked or dried, if you’re also interested in using up the lavender plant’s buds and stems (note: dried flowers have a greater potency, so don’t over do it! For lavender, less is more). 

Because lavender is of the same family as rosemary, sage and thyme—it has a sweet and floral taste, with a lemony aspect—it can be used similarly in dishes. 

Add lavender to savoury-sweet homemade breads, in marinades for lamb, poultry or meats, sprinkle lavender petals over top of salads, or use the flowers to decorate frozen desserts and some of your favourite bubbly, effervescent beverages.

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