The spring garden is full of edible flowers right now, which will be totally different from summertime edible blooms. These harbingers are both showy and delicious. A treat for the eye of the beholder as well as the palate. So gather ye blooms while ye May and bring them into the kitchen to create lovely dishes.
And what better time to do this than Mothers’ Day? Tomorrow we celebrate moms across the nation… not that we don’t honor them throughout the rest of the year… so I want to treat the mothers in my family special and I am harvesting the edible blooms in my garden and backyard to garnish a freshly harvested garden green and herb salad. A simple vinaigrette of extra-virgin olive oil, herb, balsamic or wine vinegar, salt and pepper is best to allow the other flavors of the herbs, greens and flowers to shine through.
I will also make a May Wine featuring strawberries and sweet woodruff. Just mash some berries (add just a little sugar if they are tart) with a handful of sweet wooodruff. I infuse the berries and herb in a fruity white wine like a German Rhine Wine, Moselle or Reisling (use white grape juice for non-alcoholic version) overnight or for up to 24 hours. Strain off the berries and herb into a punch bowl or clear glass pitcher. Add a bottle of chilled champagne (or gingerale for no alcohol) and garnish with some small strawberries, woodruff sprigs and flowers, johnny-jump-ups, violets or pansies. Serve in wine glasses or punch cups. To keep cold, add ice or an ice mold with edible flowers frozen inside of them.
Here’s to celebrating mothers and gardens and spring–Happy Mothers’ Day!
Note: Be sure to properly identify your flowers before eating them. Use organically grown, unsprayed blooms.