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Edible flowers, but not only. You can eat them with your mouth but first of all with your eyes for their contribution in the kitchen is double and should not be forgotten. Flavor and color. This is the secret soon revealed but difficult to imitate for those who are not as beautiful as them and not even fragrant.
It is not at all difficult to cook with edible flowers, just a few small tricks and useful information on how to orient yourself with sometimes unpredictable aromas. Not always what the nose perceives from a flower, then corresponds to an analogous taste.
It remains undisputed that i edible flowers bring a lot of joy, so as long as we do not poison the diners using the poisonous ones, we can indulge ourselves with simple decorations or edible decorations, salads and risottos, desserts or flowery omelettes.
Edible flowers list
Before starting to take a look at the edible flowers at the disposal of our culinary creativity it is better to clarify some essential indications. First of all, before sautéing with various petals, we make sure that we do not suffer from any allergies related to them, and remember that the edible part are only the petals therefore pistils and stems, albeit sometimes choreographic, must be removed.
One of the best known uses of edible flowers is that of sweets, between cakes, sorbets, biscuits, muffins and sweets to the spoon. For this reason, so much is the choice, and the taste, that we will dedicate a separate chapter to you with which to make you water, towards the end.
THE edible flowers pungent and peppery, they are great for adding character to dishes that might otherwise sadden or bore. There calendula it is excellent for livening up pasta recipes, risottos, soups and minestrone, the chrysanthemum it is even more spicy and pungent but also offers beautiful decorations. The lilac nasturtium is more suitable for rounding off the flavor of creams, yogurt, ice creams and pies, with a citrus touch, sweetish.
Begonia among others is widely used to flavor edible flowers: has a sour taste, recalls that of lemon, transforms ice creams, sorbets and even fruit salads. If we want a beautiful but bitter flower, among the edible flowers we can choose chicory whose petals and buds can be pickled, the Dandelion together with dandelion it can be the protagonist of an original sauce for pasta.
For salads, soups, pastas and risottos, we find the recommendeddill: its yellow-green flowers smell of anise. Or if we don't want to risk it, with basil flowers we get a flavor similar to its leaves but more delicate, borage recalls cucumber but only in flavor: it has bright blue flowers.
I bet everyone knows the Courgette flowers: our culinary tradition provides recipe dossiers with this ingredient, the fewer there are the tasty sunflower but its sprout can be steamed, like an artichoke and is very tasty. And then… eating a sunflower is certainly a poetic experience.
No less than that of tasting one daisy and discover that the dandelion often used in salads and risottos is similar to capers in taste, bitter. Two words also about edible flowers whose main role is to embellish the dish:impatiens it has very abundant violet flowers that certainly bring joy alongside an already satisfying dessert, la hollyhock it is perfect if you want a fluffy and brightly colored decoration. The effect of the daisy - elegant and simple - is completely different, while the rosemary is beautiful and full of character.
Edible flowers: how to recognize them
At 15 euros an interesting guide to recognize and taste edible flowers, wild herbs and berries. It is not one of those beautiful books to browse but which then prove useless and leave us speechless: it contains descriptive cards of 140 different types. It is also important that you report any similarities with other poisonous ones. Ìthe title is "Edible herbs and wild fruits ".
Edible flowers: where to buy them
The best thing to do to procure edible flowers it is cultivating them by oneself. So we are sure that they are not chemically treated. Of course, I understand that it is not always possible and then, with all those I have indicated to you, it would be necessary to have a huge balcony, or garden, and a lot of time to dedicate.
So here are the safer and tastier alternatives: i edible flowers they are also found in some supermarkets, just look for the trays with a selection of fresh flowers often placed in the fruit and vegetable department. The internet also helps us: various sites online sell edible flowers. Instead, thepurchase from florists. Even collecting them around, in public gardens, for example, is not a great idea, it is easy for them to be treated equally.
Edible flowers for cakes
Of edible flowers there is a wide choice, but let's remember that the petals are the parts that we can ingest. It is true that sometimes there is no sense in a decoration without stems, annexes and connected, for example, let's put them in but wrapped in tinfoil. Among the edible sweet flowers the most particular isBeauty at night which can also be used raw in salads.
If we need a licorice-like taste, there are the Light fennel, Clover and Angelica to choose from depending on the aesthetics and nuance that our taste buds perceive: they are not identical flavors. The jasmine as well as theHibiscus and Chamomile are already well known edible flowers for their flavoring use in tea, herbal teas and infusions but I invite you to try them in recipes cookies or muffins.
Another flower that I would not have expected to find as edible, let alone with sweets, is the geranium, instead it is highly appreciated in the preparation of semifreddi, sorbets, wines, liqueurs, as well as in accompaniment to ricotta and crescenza, even in the form of jam.
Very fragrant, to be used sparingly, the edible flowers of Citrus, citrus, the same criterion applies to mint which risks covering all the other flavors. The Carnation among the edible flowers it is one of the most used in liqueurs as to garnish biscuits but the best known of all are Pink and Purple. Both are widely used in sweets and jams, syrups, liqueurs and cocktails, ice creams, jellies and jams. And they also pop up in savory recipes.
Edible flowers: recipes
Among the thousands of recipes that we can find online, I chose a first course, a second course and a dessert so as not to be biased. For the risotto between edible flowers it's up to the rose, they take the yellow and pink petals and proceed with the traditional preparation only that the rose petals are added at ¾ of cooking, cut into julienne strips. With 360g of rice, let's get 2.5 liters of vegetable broth, half a glass of white wine, oil, 80 grams of butter, 60 of Parmesan cheese, chives, 6 yellow rose petals and 6 pink rose petals.
For the second an omelette with edible dandelion flowers, you need 20. For the rest, there is not much difference with a normal omelette: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 6 eggs, salt and pepper, grated parmesan. After boiling the dandelion flowers for 5 minutes in a saucepan, drain and cook them for another 10 minutes but in a pan with the oil and minced garlic. Separately prepare the omelette with eggs and grated parmesan, salt, pepper. THE edible flowers, together with the garlic, once ready they are added to the preparation for the omelette by cooking everything in a non-stick pan, toasting front and back.
For dessert, i acacia flowers they will cheer up a very simple and genuine cake, made with 250g of flour, 50g of cornstarch, 150g of brown sugar, 3 eggs, 3 golden apples and 1 sachet of baking powder. 30 clusters of acacia flowers are needed. We proceed by peeling and cutting the apples into cubes to immerse them in water until they turn black. THE flowers should be placed in cold water and then let them drain, then divide them. They should not be clustered in our cake!
After having beaten the egg whites with a pinch of salt, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl until you get a smooth cream. We combine water, flour, yeast and, after mixing, add everything to the yolks and, finally, to the whipped egg whites, the diced apples and the flowers. With the oven already preheated to 180 ｰ, pour the dough into a pan with sugar on the surface, if you like, and bake. After half an hour, ours acacia flower cake will be ready.
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