Cooking with flowers is an inventive and culinary delight. I’ve all the time been smitten with the magic of flowers. Enamored, infatuated, besotted with the attract of one thing so ephemeral however resonant, an natural focus of magnificence whose presence captures the surprise that nature alone can create. Through the summers in school, I labored as a floral assistant, collaborating with the blooms and stems I’d come to like. But it surely wasn’t till a yr or so in the past that I shifted gears and started cooking with flowers in earnest.
It started with nasturtiums. I beloved topping my pizzas with their vibrant, peppery chunk and seeing their vibrant, summery hue tossed into salads. From there, my obsession solely grew, and shortly I used to be dotting my strawberry shortcake with tiny petals of chamomile and adorning buttery shortbread with violets. The world of cooking with flowers is huge and huge—and it’s a reality Cassie Winslow is aware of effectively.
A baker, blogger, and active caretaker of her edible flower garden, Cassie is inspiring us all to connect with the joy of cooking with flowers and to return this close-to-the-earth way of life to the forefront of our focus. Now the creator of two books, Floral Provisions and Floral Libations, Cassie’s artistry is a sight to behold and her recipes a delight to be savored.
I sat down with Cassie to speak about all issues cooking with flowers—from the perfect blooms to work with to suggestions and methods for maintaining your flowers recent. In case your cooking routine might use a refresh, prepare for all of the inspiration you possibly can ever want.
May you share somewhat of the historical past of bringing flowers into our meals?
Many cultures have been utilizing flowers in meals for hundreds of years. I’ve learn that utilizing edible blooms in cooking dates again to early historical past when Romans would use them in salads. For additional studying on the historical past of edible flowers, I simply acquired Gerald’s Herbal by John Gerard, and I’m excited to check extra.
Get the recipe for cassie’s plum and Lavender Clafoutis
What flowers can be utilized in cooking and baking?
I like utilizing natural dried edible flowers in recipes as they’ve an extended shelf life, are simple to supply, and get up effectively to baking and cooking. There are a lot of edible flowers and I’m all the time discovering new varieties, however my favorites (and the simplest to supply) are:
- Roses. They differ from supply to supply, and naturally, rely on the range. Total, they are typically aromatic and candy, and a few may even lend a nice bitterness.
- Chamomile. These small blooms have an earthy taste and complexity that jogs my memory of honey.
- Lavender. Lavender is gorgeous and fairly perfume-y, so somewhat goes a good distance.
- Calendula. Calendula petals will be fairly delicate in taste with a slight trace of spice.
- Hibiscus. I solely use hibiscus in its dried type. It has a completely gorgeous shade and could be very tangy and tart.
These all make scrumptious infused salts and sugars in addition to syrups!
Do you have a favorite flower to use in recipes?
I would have to choose chamomile for many reasons. I have found that it’s the easiest dried organic flower to source. You can find chamomile tea nearly everywhere, and most of the time, the bags contain chamomile flowers only. It’s fabulous in both sweet and savory recipes and adds such a delicate floral flavor to all dishes.
I use it in chamomile salt, which can be sprinkled on homemade fries, chamomile simple syrup to use in cocktails or drizzle atop vanilla ice cream, and in whipped cream to serve with strawberry shortcake, a summertime favorite.
Get the recipe for cassie’s Strawberry and Rose Geranium Milkshakes
For somebody who’s cooking with flowers for the primary time, the place would you advocate beginning?
I’ve many pantry recipes in each of my books and have discovered that making a lot of these pantry staples to have readily available is one of the simplest ways to include edible flowers into on a regular basis meals. For instance, rose salt can be utilized to sprinkle atop a poached egg or chocolate chip cookies, or to rim the glass of your favourite margarita or perhaps a glass of champagne. Lavender syrup can be utilized to sweeten your day by day espresso, add to your favourite cocktail, or drizzle on prime of pancakes.
How do you retain flowers trying vibrant and staying recent?
Use a linen serviette to softly clear the blooms moderately than rinsing to take care of shade and form. Retailer within the fridge and use as quickly as doable, usually inside a day or two relying on the bloom.