Cooking and garnishing with flowers is back in style! Add a floral flourish to your summer entertaining by planting an edible flower garden. From the sweet hint of citrus to a slightly tangy or bitter bite, edible petals add taste and charm to any gathering. Straight from my potting bench to yours, here are some easy ways to add delicious flower power to your summer entertaining!
I like to plant my edible flowers in a variety of white pots so the colors pop. Not sure which flowers are edible? I consulted with the plant experts at Wells Medina Nursery. Research and clearly identify the flowers you grow and which parts are edible. Avoid flowers and plants that may have been sprayed with any kind of insecticide or chemical, and inspect petals for insects. Here are six of my favorites: nasturtiums, roses, pansies, scented geraniums, marigolds, and lavender.
Coconut Water And Rose Petal Ice Pops
These are so easy and refreshing on a warm summer day! Fill ice-pop forms with coconut water, and add a few garden rose petals to each pop. I also like to experiment with adding scant amounts of additional flavoring like orange-blossom water, or lemon extract.
Make Pretty Ice
You can take your entertaining style from ho-hum to insanely gorgeous with floral ice. A simple ice bucket becomes a floral fantasy with flower ice cubes. Create flower ice in an array of ice-tray shapes and sizes. Just fill containers with water, add edible petals, and freeze!
Fun Floral Sips
Take summer lemonade to another level with flower ice cubes, and flower ice straws. Pop floral cubes into pretty glassware and add an ice straw with pansy power! The straws are created with easy-to-use “ice straw” trays from Urban Outfitters. I sprinkled in a few torn pansy petals before freezing.
Pansy, Lemon, And Dill Goat Cheese Spread
Simply place your favorite store-bought cheese in a food processor. Add the petals from three or four pansies, a few sprigs of fresh dill, and the zest of half a lemon. Pulse until the flowers, herbs, and lemon are incorporated. Arrange the goat cheese mixture in a line on a piece of plastic wrap. Roll the goat cheese into a log, and twist the ends. Chill until ready to use.
Lavender martini drop
This lavender martini drop gets the summer party started. It’s infused with my fragrant and delicious garden lavender simple syrup. Parfait Amour, an orange-flavored liqueur, gives it that beautiful lavender color.
Lavender Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lavender flowers
Simmer on the stovetop until the sugar dissolves. Cool, strain out lavender, and chill. Great in iced tea too!
1½ shots vodka
½ shot freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ shot Parfait Amour
½ shot lavender simple syrup
Dress Up Dessert
It’s so easy to fancy up desserts with fresh, edible garden flowers. We love the look of petals on ready-made doughnuts!
Floral Eye Candy
These are so cute and easy to make. All you need are lollipop forms, sticks, and a candy thermometer (available at craft stores).
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Edible garden flowers
Spray lollipop molds with cooking spray, and set aside. Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a pan, and stir over medium heat until it reaches 300 degrees (the hard-crack stage on your candy thermometer). Pour the hot mixture into the molds. Quickly add a flower petal or two to each mold and the lollipop sticks. Let cool.
Give your cheese course a pretty “wow” factor with fresh edible flowers. I like to top my favorite cheese rounds with edible flower petal designs. It’s so quick and easy.
See Monica Hart’s design, recipe, and entertaining ideas in every issue of 425 magazine, and at lafamigliadesignllc.com.