Flowers for Lunch: 8 Edible Flowers for Summer Cooking

We don’t even need to tell you that edible flowers are having a moment in the culinary scene lately. Whether they’re topping cocktails or adorning a cupcake, edible flowers are beautifying just about every bite. But these blooms aren’t restricted to your favourite gastro pub’s menu. In fact, you can incorporate these trendy food features into your own meals at home.

edible flowers

Next time you have people over, prepare with the best food presentation around—add flowers to the fare. Not only is doing so fun, but it’s also healthy and just downright chic. Every late summer garden soiree could use a little spice. And your spice, my friend, is edible flowers.

Words of Caution for Edible Flowers

Before we get into the actual flowers you can add to your foodie fare, it’s responsible to first outline the cautions involved. Do not eat flowers with pesticides on them—it might seem like a no-brainer, but you may not think about it in the moment. Another important reminder: don’t eat flowers from the florist as they use lots of chemicals to keep them bright and thriving.

There are very specific types of flowers that are edible, but not all flowers are meant to be digested. Trust us on this one. Also, when using the flowers in your recipes, the petals are the only parts that are edible. Remove the pistils and stamens from the flowers before using them—you can only eat the centers of pansies violas, and Johnny-jump-ups.

Best Edible Flowers

Below is a list of the best edible blooms for your summer meals. Each of these has its own look, and, therefore, its own flavor.

  • Borage: cucumber and briny, sea-like flavor
  • Calendula: pepper flavor
  • Chrysanthemum: tangy, slightly bitter flavor
  • Clover: sweet, licorice-like flavor
  • Hibiscus: cranberry-like flavor with citrusy tones
  • Lavender: sweet, floral flavor with citrus and lemon notes
  • Rose: floral sweet flavor similar to the smell
  • Nasturtium: peppery flavor like a caper substitute

Edible Flower Recipe Ideas

edible flowers candied rose petalsCandied Rose Petals 

Keep it simple yet elegant with this recipe that lets your guests stop and eat the roses. You’ll impress everyone, and it’s a delightful little snack that will keep people talking long after the petals are gone. See the recipe here.

edible flowers popsiclesFlower Popsicles

An elevated (and prettier) take on the classic summer refreshment, flower popsicles are sure to be a hit when the late summer sun starts to take a toll. You can use pretty much any edible flowers for the pops such as lavender, hibiscus, and rose. Make them here.

edible flowers hibiscusOrange Ginger Seared Scallops

Is your mouth watering yet? Use a citrusy flower like hibiscus to top these tasty sea treats, and brace yourself for all the Instagram posts that are sure to ensue. Grab the recipe (and translate it) here.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate edible flowers into your fun summer party fare, and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Feel free to get creative, but remember the warnings we outlined above—those are no joke. Then, when you’re all flowered out, join Rozanne’s Inner Circle for your next greatest garden party idea.