My interest in edible flowers was piqued by last months Royal Foodie Joust which included edible flowers as one of the ingredients. My only other encounter with edible flowers was a Lavender Creme Brulee I had in the South of France a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the amazing recipes that came out of the Joust prompted me to research other recipes and experiment.
Nasturtium is probably the most popular (if not the most commonly used) flower in cooking. It has a mild, peppery taste which makes it excellent in salads. Here is a simple recipe, adapted from Alice Water’s book Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, Calzone. Alice used this to make an pasta dish (which I have yet to try) that also uses squash blossoms. I made a couple of changes and used the wonderful, peppery result in my other experiments.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 tbs chopped chives
- 20 nasturtium blooms, chopped finely
- salt and pepper
- In a bowl, blend all the ingredients using a fork. Season with salt and pepper and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- You can store the butter in a ramekin or shape it into a log and wrap in plastic wrap before storing.
Using cream cheese instead of butter will give you an excellent dip or spread!