Kiwi gardeners share their recipes for herbal salads, sides and more
Nothing looks more beautiful than a fresh herb salad with pretty, palatable petals. Most herb flowers are delicious to eat, their flavour just slightly milder and sweeter than the leaves. Basil, bee balm, borage, calendula, chives, dill, fennel, nasturtium, garlic, rosemary and sage flowers can all be included in salads. Viola, carnation, pansy, polyanthus and rose petals are edible too, as are brassica flowers.
Pick flowers in the cool of the day, after the dew has evaporated. Picked at their peak, the flowers’ volatile oils and sugars are at their highest concentration.
Put long-stemmed flowers in a container of water and keep in a cool environment. Put short-stemmed flowers in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel, and store in the fridge. Before using, remove pistils and stamens as these can be bitter.
Only eat flowers that are organically grown. It‘s best to eat the flowers within a few hours of picking.