Cal­en­dula Cal­en­dula of­fic­i­nalis

NZ Lifestyle Block - - DIY FOOD -

CAL­EN­DULA petals have a very mild, slightly tangy flavour and cre­ate a de­light­ful gold dust ef­fect sprin­kled over sal­ads.

We use the com­mon yel­low-petalled va­ri­ety, which has an­cient culi­nary and medic­i­nal uses. There are also named sin­gle and dou­ble va­ri­eties in in all shades of or­ange and yel­low, al­though they tend to re­vert af­ter a few sea­sons.

Cal­en­dula of­fic­i­nalis grows best in well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Plants dis­like hot sum­mers or hard frosts, but self-seed read­ily.

Care is easy – just pinch out the grow­ing tips for bet­ter branch­ing, and dead-head from time to time to ex­tend flow­er­ing.

To use, pick a cou­ple of flow­ers and stand in wa­ter. Just be­fore serv­ing, pluck the petals and scat­ter them over the dish for a sprin­kle of bright gold.

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