We eat a lot of the things we grow in the HQ garden- last week our grapes and strawberries were flavour of the month. Still we can’t help but feel we aren’t making the most of the things we grow: so we looked to the flowers.
We’ve had rose petals before but not much else so we turned to our local edible flowers expert Eleanor Whitley from Pretty Delicious.
Eleanor was brimming with ideas about what we could do with the flowers we can find at this time of year.
She even wrote it all down for us so we’re sharing Eleanor’s beginner’s guide to…
…Edible Flowers in the Autumn… (and what to do with them!)
Edible flowers are mostly known for adorning our summer dishes - the bright blue of a cornflower in a gin & tonic or pink pea flowers on a risotto - but as autumn begins there are still some delicious British flowers to eat.
- Squash plants will be developing some great looking vegetables right now, and so there will still be some squash flowers to be had (and perhaps some courgette flowers if your plants are still going). Stuff the flowers with ricotta & peas and dip in light tempura batter before deep frying.
- Garlic Chives are a wonderful flower packed with flavour. Try chopping the whole stem into a stir fry or Chinese dumpling filling. The flowers, which hold as much if not more flavour as the stem, can be added to salads, dressings, on omelettes, on / in humus or added to butter for a great garlic bread.
- Light salad friendly flowers like calendula petals (Pot Marigold), wild rocket, nasturtium and viola may all still be available well into October based on the mild weather. They will all add some good flavour, colour and a little vitamin A & C to your meal.
- Try pickling any nasturtium seeds you may have left on the plants (if you grew them this year) once the flowers have finished. Known as poor mans capers they are great alongside burgers (veggie or not) and have a great spicy kick to them, kind of like wasabi.
- As the autumn comes into full flow the crab apples and rose hips will appear and, although not flowers themselves, will go wonderfully made into a jelly or syrup with rose water.
There's even more you can do...
If you want some more advice or tips Eleanor would love to hear from you. Pretty Delicious arranges bespoke edible bouquets for gifts or events and works with chefs, supper clubs and others, to design flowers into the food & edible displays. www.prettydelicious.org
For edible flower supplies in London get in touch with Organic Lea (www.organiclea.org.uk).