Chelsea Flower Show left you peckish? Chef/owner of Craft London Stevie Parle gives us tips on using flowers in cooking
- Most things that grow as a fruit or vegetable have a flower you can eat, such as peas, broad beans, apples, cherries and courgettes.
But don’t just use flowers for food, they’re great as garnishes in drinks, too. Borage flowers aren’t just pretty, they’re also traditionally found in jugs of Pimms.
Lemon Verbena is an edible herb flower
- All herb flowers are edible, such as rosemary, sage, lemon verbena and mint.
- Once your herbs have flowered, cut them all back and dry the flowers. They make a great tea and the herbs will hopefully have a second burst of growth before they slow down for winter.
If you grow courgettes, pick the male flowers as soon as they come out. They’re the ones that just have stems rather than mini courgettes. The more you pick, the more will grow.
Elderflower being all versatile
- Everyone knows about elderflower cordial, but elders are good for loads of things. Salad dressings, deep fried with honey, in a jelly. They’re full of flavour.
- Cooking with roses is great as they have a strong flavour that goes well with desserts. But while they may be prettier than the ones in your garden, don’t use roses from the florist. They’ve often been sprayed with food pesticides.
- Roses are great for savoury dishes, too. Pickle them in a two parts vinegar to one part water and one part sugar mixture...
- Pick flowers on a sunny day. Rain washes out flavours and they’re more aromatic on a sunny rather than shady day.
- Potato flowers are poisonous. And so are rhubarb leaves. Watch out.