The first time I ever even considered edible flower recipes was at my niece's birthday party. Since my niece is allergic to food coloring, my sister had used candied pansies and candied violets on top of her birthday cake. It was gorgeous!
Ever since then, I've been interested in edible flowers.
You can candy any edible flower, and they are delicious.
What my sister did was to take the flowers, remove the green base, brush them with egg white then sprinkle them well with granulated sugar and lay them out to dry.
If you don't want to use egg whites you can use clear gelatin mixed according to the package directions or even dip them in plain water (although you'll have more chance of the sugar not sticking using only water) or in water with sugar dissolved in it.
Another alternative is to layer the moistened flowers with layers of sugar in a covered bowl and let them sit for a few days. The leftover sugar gets tiny bits of flower in it, which is great to use for "confetti" on top of cookies and cupcakes!
There are so many edible flower recipes, something for every meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner!
My absolute favorite out of all my recipes using edible flowers is something I got from the Los Angeles Times Magazine back in the late 90's.
I've modified the recipe a bit to fit what we generally buy/eat, and I think you'll like it.
Quick and Fragrant Stew
1-2 pounds top sirloin cut into 1 in cubes
2-3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil, lard or butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup wine
2 cups broth (I prefer beef broth, but I've used chicken and vegetable broth in the past, with good results)
2-3 carrots, sliced into rounds
3-4 thin-skinned small potatoes, quartered
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves
1 sprig fresh lavender (leaves or flowers)
1-2 cups fresh or frozen peas (or you can use frozen mixed vegetables as I do)
Mix flour, pepper and salt, then dredge meat cubes. Brown meat in oil then set aside. Fry onion until soft, then deglaze pan with wine. Add broth, carrots, potatoes, thyme, rosemary and lavender. Bring to a boil, then add meat and reduce to a simmer. When the vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes) add peas (or mixed vegetables) and heat through (3-4 minutes). Garnish with fresh lavender or rosemary flowers. Serves 4.
This tastes wonderful! You can substitute tofu, diced shiitake mushrooms, or TVP for the sirloin to make this a vegetarian meal.
Do you have a great edible flower recipe hiding in your cookbook? Come share it with us!
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