Edible Flowers in Your Salads
Edible Flowers to Add to Your Salads
As for flowers, there is a huge choice of edible flowers for salads. It is now illegal to dig up wild flowers, so if violets, cowslips or primroses are wanted they must be sown in the garden. Among my salad favourites are the sky blue flowers of anchusa and borage, the latter wonderfully sweet in spring; violas and pansies, brightly coloured but mild flavoured; elderflowers, in moderation, to add their own musty sweetness; and the double form of the humble garden daisy, Bettis perennis.
Of very ancient use is pot marigold or calendula (not French and African marigold). The bright orange petals, reputed to have medicinal qualities, can be dried in gentle heat for winter. Another old-timer is nasturtium, adding both fiery looks and a fiery taste, for the flowers can be pepper-hot. The leaves can also be used: particularly recommended are the pretty, variegated leaves of the variety ‘Alaska’ , smaller and less coarse than other nasturtiums, and the purplish leaves of ‘Empress of India’.
Recipe for pickling flowers
Lay down flowers in layers in a container, covering each layer with sugar. Pack down fairly firmly. Boil up enough cider or wine vinegar to cover. Allow to cool and then pour over the flowers. They are ready for use in four days.