Food & Entertaining - In Season

Grow a gourmet flower garden

By
Danielle Mineau
Photography by
Martin Laprise

14 edible blooms that will add dazzling colour and a subtle flavour to summer dishes.


How to grow edible blooms
Annual varieties should be grown from seeds that are certified edible and, ideally, organic. You can also buy potted flowering edible plants, but be sure to verify that they have been properly cultivated and have not been exposed to chemical sprays or treatments of any kind. Look for edible flowers in the gardening section where you’d normally find herbs and vegetables for sale. Avoid eating the flowers of store-bought perennials and shrubs for one year after planting. And if you want to grow them from seed, be sure to plant them in a location as far removed as possible from pollutants such as auto exhaust.

How to harvest edible blooms
Ideally, the best time to pick your floral eats is early in the morning, before the day heats up. This ensures maximum flavour and colour. They’re best eaten on the same day, but they can also be preserved for a few days in a plastic bag, in the fridge’s vegetable crisper. Before serving, be sure to wash thoroughly in cool water—and check for bugs. With larger blooms, remove the pistil and stamen, as well as the colourless base of the flower petals.

Tip: Deadhead flowers regularly to encourage new blooms

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