Edible flowers are a fantastic, eye catching delicacy. I know, I know... It's not a new trend. Chefs have incorporated the vast array of edible flowers in many of their cuisines. Since we are in the height of spring bloom and entering summer planting in our gardens, here are a few ideas!
Prefer adding a bit of spice to your dish? Nasturtiums are not quite in season (July) but they are one of my favorite edible flowers. Jean-Georges Vongerichten re-introduced these in the market well over 15 years ago. Thank you to all you gardeners that plant them easily accessible to my daily walks! Other great spicy flowers and blossoms: Radish flower, Geraniums, Alliums (chive or garlic), Calendula/Marigolds (sometimes citrusy) Pair these with Weingut Prechtl Classic Gruner Veltliner, a dry rosé such as Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé, or go for a rustic pinot like Clos Bosquet!
Edible flowers make a great addition to cakes (sugared or raw) or cheese boards with a touch of honey. See this blog for wine pairings with cheeses. I will never forget growing up with pansies in my salad at Grandma Audree's home in Bellingham. Mild and floral- delicate and non-intrusive: Violets, Tulip Petals (allergy warning), Roses, Peony, Impatiens, Apple blossoms.
Need a bit of zing, zap and kah-pow? Create a simple syrup with Hibiscus, Lavender or Elderberry blossoms. All these citrus and floral flowers in addition to Lemon Verbena blossoms, Citrus blossoms, and even Dandelion blossoms (in their tender youth) create wow factors to your dishes- from savory to dessert. Castlefeder Lagrein combines nicely with the tart and explosive notes of these citrus flowers, as does Montendoli Vinbrusco.
Earthy flowers with unique flavors to build your dish so you do not have to overly season would include Fennel flowers, Chevril blossoms (anise flavors), Angelica (preservative for fish dishes by the Sami people), Thyme blossoms, and Sage blossoms (amazing with blue cheese as well). Depending on what you are making- you can utilize Jean d'Alberts Syrah/Grenache or Notollo Vino Nobile Montepulciano. If you are searching for a mild earthy note with a note of beauty, utilize Squash Blossoms, Pea Blossoms, Sunflower buds, or Lilac.
A couple other unique blossoms not to over look: Chrysanthemum (ranging from spicy to earthy to sweet) and Carnations (a sweet aromatic treat as well as a secret ingredient to Chartreuse since the 17th century). These swimming a glass of La Farra Brut Extra Dry, sounds like a perfect patio afternoon as we approach summer!
04.22.2015 Spring Weather Watch in the Vineyards ... MORE >
Beyond the Glass Wine shops are now acting as social centers, schools, restaurants, even travel agencies, offering far more than just free tastings.
Published on Dec 2, 2010
BY SHARON MCDONNELL
The Portalis Wine Shop + Wine Bar in Seattle offers customers three-course dinners, art shows and tastings.