Here are just a few of the many ways you can include flowers in your meals.
Select some young tender lettuce leaves, then wash and dry them before tearing into a wooden or glass bowl. Add several whole monarda leaves and a similar quantity of nasturtium leaves, and toss in an oil and vinegar dressing. Gather the fresh flowers of borage, viola, nasturtium, rose, calendula, and monarda flower heads. Lightly pull apart the calendula, monarda, nasturtium and viola, but leave the borage flowers whole, then mix them all gently into the salad. Garnish the top of the salad with a few whole nasturtium flowers and rose petals.
For 8 scones:
Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas mark 7. Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. Rub in the butter and add the milk and the cream of tartar and the calendula petals. Mix thoroughly until a soft dough is formed. Turn onto a floured board, knead lightly, and then roll to about 2cm (¾in) thick. Use a 5cm (2in) plain cutter to cut out the scones and put them on a lightly floured baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden brown. Cool on a baking tray before eating.
Whisk together juices and honey. Mix in lemon rind, ginger and cayenne pepper. Add carrots, almonds and raisins. Just before serving, toss in calendula petals and citrus petals. Serve on a bed of nasturtium leaves.
In a small bowl, combine the honey, orange juice concentrate and orange and lemon zests. Add the yogurt and mix well. Pour the yogurt mixture into a small decorative bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, gently wash the begonia blossoms and remove each of the petals at its base. Place the bowl of flavoured yogurt on a large platter and arrange the petals in a decorative pattern around the bowl. Serve as a delicious appetiser within the hour to prevent the petals wilting, Serves 4-6.
Force the cottage cheese through a sieve. Add remaining ingredients. Chill for 2 hours and garnish with borage flowers. Makes 1½ cups.
Beat all the ingredients together in a bowl for a smooth, lump-free batter. When the frying oil has almost reached the correct temperature of 188°C (370°F), dip the courgette flower in the batter and allow any drips to fall back into the bowl. Drop the flower into the hot oil and remove after 1 minute or so when the fritter will be a pale golden colour. Drain on paper towels and serve dusted with icing sugar. The same process can be used to make fritters of other types of edible flower as well.
Pick the flowers when the dew has dried and select only undamaged, perfectly formed flowers. Gently whisk the egg white until it is bubbly, but not frothy. Paint the white onto all parts of the flower, then dip it into the caster sugar, making sure that it is completely covered. Shake off any surplus and leave on greaseproof paper in a warm room to dry. Use when hardened. When thoroughly dry, place in an airtight container, layered with greaseproof paper and store in a cool place. They will keep for about a week.
Dip each flower in the beaten egg. Roll them each in flour. Sauté the coated flowers in hot oil until crispy.
Steep petals in water in a cup for 5 minutes, for additional sweetness add honey if desired.
Cut the nectarines in half, remove the stones (pips) and slice the fruit. Arrange the slices on individual serving plates. Remove the stigma from the centre of the hollyhocks, and then cut off the green parts. Brush any excess pollen off the petals. Arrange the petals around the nectarine slices and garnish with sprigs of mint.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the potato slices; cook until the undersides begin to brown. Using a large spatula, turn the potatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chive florets. Continue cooking until the potato slices are browned on both sides and serve immediately.