How to decorate your food with edible flowers

Tips on the best edible flowers to buy and how to use them in your favourite dishes
Cath Muscat

It’s only natural to grab a little box of pretty little blooms, carefully packaged and lined up to tempt you at your gourmet grocer. Here’s how to get the best out of edible flowers.

Once the domain of five star chefs only, budding home chefs might want to add a dash of colour and style to their dishes with edible flowers. Many are easy to grow in your own garden to have them at the ready, or order online ahead of time for a special occasion.

Edible varieties include*:

Nasturtium – easy to grow as ground cover – use leaves and flowers in salads, peppery flavour

Native violet – easy to grow as ground cover – use flowers in salads or as an edible garnish for delicate dishes or desserts

Viola – easy to grow and make lovely potted colour display – add a nice colour and elegance to salads

Marigold – a little bitter, work well as companion plants to others as a pest deterrent nice addition to very sweet dishes

*don’t guess – use a trusted source for your edible flowers and if in doubt, leave them out

Top tips for adding edible flowers to your entertaining table:

  • Freeze them into ice cubes as a pretty garnish in a glass or punch bowl
  • Float in a drink or cocktail to serve
  • Add to a fruit or cheese platter
  • Top a fruit smoothie or frappe
  • Garnish a delicate entree

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