8 Dishes Featuring Edible Flowers

Create dishes that look as beautiful as they taste with these salads, desserts, teas, and more

Sunset PalmerSunset Palmer
Sunset Palmer
In this version of the classic Arnold Palmer, we used our lemon-scented blooms in place of the lemonade.
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, ends trimmed, chopped
1/2 cup each fresh lemon verbena* and lemon balm leaves*, plus lemon verbena for garnish
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup brewed black tea, such as English breakfast, cooled
1. Put lemongrass, lemon verbena, lemon balm, and zest in a heatproof container. Pour 2 cups boiling water over herbs and steep 20 minutes. Strain, then stir in sugar.
2. Divide liquid between 2 ice-filled glasses. Top each with about 1/2 cup black tea. Garnish with lemon verbena leaves.
*Grow your own lemon verbena and lemon balm, or look for them at a farmers' market.

Eat-your-garden SaladEat-your-garden Salad
Eat-your-garden Salad
We used a mixture of spring blossoms from our garden to create this spectacular salad. Feel free to experiment with the blooms you find around you, or pick some up near the herbs at any well-stocked grocery store.
2 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed, safflower or canola oil
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced tarragon
1 Persian cucumber or 1/3 English cucumber
About 50 sugar snap peas
1/4 cup lightly packed chervil sprigs (optional)
3 ounces m
âche clusters (about 3 lightly packed cups)
4 ounces mesclun (about 6 lightly packed cups)
4 medium radishes, sliced in half lengthwise
Your choice of: bachelor's buttons (whole and petals), calendula and carnations petals, whole Johnny-jump-ups, nasturtium petals, pansy petals, and stock flowerets (15 to 20 whole flowers total)*
1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and tarragon.
2. Thinly slice cucumber. Split 30 of the fatter peapods and remove the peas; set aside. Gently rinse chervil, mâche, and mesclun and gently spin twice in a salad spinner to thoroughly dry the leaves.
3. Put greens in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly with 3 tbsp. dressing (leaves should be barely coated), adding more dressing if necessary.
4. Divide greens among plates. To each salad, add a few slices of cucumber, some sugar snap peas (both whole pods and just the peas), and some radishes. Drizzle with any remaining dressing, if you like, and top with whole flowers and flower petals.
* Use only unsprayed, organic petals and blooms. If you're growing your own flowers from seedlings, be sure to buy organic plants-and don't spray them as they grow. To buy edible flowers, try gourmet grocery stores and farmers' markets; avoid flowers from florists and nurseries.

Blossom TisaneBlossom Tisane
Blossom Tisane
Chamomile and lavender are natural relaxation aids, so this simple tisane is a quick fix for stress relief.
About 10 fresh chamomile flowers
About 10 fresh feverfew flowers
About 20 individual buds from a fresh lavender blossom
Put flowers into a heatproof pot. Pour about 1 cup hot water over flowers. Steep 3 to 4 minutes. Pour tea into a mug, straining it if you like.

Corn Soup with Roasted Poblanos and Zucchini BlossomsCorn Soup with Roasted Poblanos and Zucchini Blossoms
Corn Soup with Roasted Poblanos and Zucchini Blossoms
Squash blossoms make a lovely and edible garnish to this summer corn soup. Other whimsical garnished can be found in our One-block book.
3 large poblano chiles
10 ears freshly picked corn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 to 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
About 2 teaspoons sea salt
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Trombetta zucchini or 1 medium regular zucchini, seeded and cut into 1/4-in. dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 small zucchini blossoms, halved lengthwise
1 cup queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled
1. Turn on broiler. Put poblanos on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast 4 in. from heat, turning once, until blackened, 10 to 15 minutes total. Put poblanos in a bowl, cover, and let sit 30 minutes to loosen skins; then peel, stem, and seed. Cut poblanos into 1/2-in. dice and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, slice corn kernels from cobs. Heat olive oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat and add onion, serranos, and 2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and corn kernels and cook 3 minutes more.
3. Pour just enough water into pot to cover corn. Bring to a simmer, covered, and simmer 15 minutes.
4. Put diced zucchini in a small saucepan with just enough salted water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain.
5. In batches, whirl corn soup in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh colander into a bowl, mashing to press out liquid. (If too thick, add some water.) Season with salt. To serve the soup hot, return to pot and reheat gently (do not boil); to serve cold, chill at least 2 hours.
6. Divide among 8 bowls. Top each bowl with 2 tbsp. diced poblanos, 2 tbsp. diced zucchini, and 2 zucchini blossom halves. Sprinkle each with 1 tbsp. cheese and serve the extra on the side.

Flowering Bee BalmFlowering Bee Balm
Flowering Bee Balm
This is a good reason to grow your own edible flowers, but if you're amidst a craving and lacking a stocked garden, you can easily use fresh lavender, jasmine, or orange blossoms.
1 fresh bee balm blossom
Pour 1 cup hot water into a heatproof glass or mug. Put blossom on top and and steep about 2 minutes (blossom will wilt as it stands).

Garden ChaiGarden Chai
Garden Chai
You can't see the flowers in this drink, but the nutmeg-scented geranium leaves we strained out add a spicy warmth you'll notice on the first sip.
1/4 cup fresh nutmeg geranium leaves
3 fresh anise hyssop flowers
1 cup hot brewed black tea, such as English breakfast
1 cup plain soy milk, warmed
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Put geranium leaves and anise hyssop flowers in a heatproof container. Pour 1 cup boiling water over them and steep 15 minutes.
2. Strain and divide liquid between 2 mugs. Pour 1/2 cup each tea and soy milk and 1 tbsp. sugar into each mug. Stir to combine.

Yogurt Honey Jelly with Strawberries and RosesYogurt Honey Jelly with Strawberries and Roses
Yogurt Honey Jelly with Strawberries and Roses
Scented with rose water and sprinkled with rose petals, this Mediterranean-inspired dessert is a beautiful idea for a dinner party.
1 envelope (1/4 oz.) powdered gelatin
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup hulled strawberries, sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)
1/4 cup rose petals
1. Put gelatin and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and let soften for a few minutes. Meanwhile, pour cream and vanilla into a medium bowl and use an electric mixer to whip the mixture into soft peaks.
2. Heat gelatin mixture gently over low heat until gelatin dissolves completely. Stir in honey and salt; remove from heat.
3. Whisk yogurt in a medium bowl. Whisk some yogurt into gelatin-honey mixture; then whisk that mixture into rest of yogurt. Fold whipped cream into yogurt mixture and pour into a 6-in. cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, at least 1 hour.
4. Combine strawberries, sugar, and rose water in a small bowl and mix gently. (If you'd like a bit of syrup, let mixture sit for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.)
5. To unmold, dip underside of cake pan in a large bowl of hot water for a minute or so. Remove from water and set a serving plate face down on top. Holding plate in place, quickly invert cake pan to release jelly (tap pan if necessary). Top with strawberries and rose petals.

Strawberry Rose CupcakesStrawberry Rose Cupcakes
Strawberry Rose Cupcakes
A few scattered rose petals on a plain cupcake can add a real wow factor. But when your guests bite into these strawberry-rose jam-filled treats, you'll really be hearing the oohs and aahs.
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup strawberry jam
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. rose water*
2 1/2 cups small rose petals
Cream Cheese-Rose Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. rose water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Frosting: In a bowl with a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, rose water, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth.
2. Preheat oven to 325°. Line 16 muffin cups with liners. Beat butter and sugar with a stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat until well blended.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Gradually beat into butter mixture until well blended.
4. Whisk together jam and rose water to taste in a small bowl. Spread 2 heaping tbsp. batter in each liner. Top with 1 tsp. jam mixture, then another 2 heaping tbsp. batter, carefully spreading it to cover jam.
5. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted toward the edge comes out clean, 25 to 27 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Spread with frosting and decorate with rose petals.
*Find with cocktail or baking supplies.

More from Sunset:
28 delicious ways with strawberries
Favorite spring vegetable recipes
36 main dish salads