Last month we spent a lovely couple of days in the west of Ireland with our good friends at The Sea Hare Café in Cleggan. We were there for a pop-up dinner with Glasgow-Diaz, an evening of delicious food, good company and even better chats.
The crudités were a plate of raw salads, vegetables and flowers that were gathered locally and served with warm Bagna Cáuda – an incredible dipping sauce made with anchovies and butter.
This delightful start to our evening included radish leaves and flowers, flowering brassicas, sprouting rocket, nasturtium leaves and flowers, leek flower buds and more! It was a lovely reminder to us of the abundance of produce available that we are either unaware that we can eat, such as flowers that might be growing in our garden or out in the wild, or simply forget that they can be a great addition to any lunch or dinner menu.
Meanwhile in west Cork, Sonia has just spent a couple of weeks enjoying freshly caught lobster and crab cooked over the fire on the beach, but also spent some time foraging calendula and camomile with our dear friends at Modern Botany, as well as seeing flax in all its glory, reaffirming our love for nature and its many benefits to us.
As a result, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite edible flowers that can be added as an addition to your salad, a garnish, as a decoration to any cake or dessert, or simply eaten on their own.
- Rapeseed flowers: found throughout the Irish countryside, the bright yellow flowers will add sunshine to any grey day and are often harvested to create oil, but the young shoots make a great addition to any salad.
- Fuchsia: Another gloriously bright flower, these taste their best when the stamen and all the green and brown bits have been removed.
– Nasturtium flowers: One of the ingredients on the menu from Glasgow Diaz, these add a peppery taste to any dish.
– Peony petals: Not only are these flowers stunning to look at the, the petals are a great addition to any salad, not only for their pretty colour, but their delicate taste too. These can be lightly cooked and sweetened for something a little different.
– Magnolia: We’ve talked about these in the past, and are still making our way through the jar of pickled leaves, although we’re not sure we ever want them to end, but these taste great fresh too.