Edible Flowers with Hayley Rosenberg of Nourish

by Hayley Rosenberg

It’s been said that flowers are nature’s laughter. The more time you spend with them, the more the statement becomes a certain truth. They’re magic in the purest form; reminding us to not be quite so serious.

A restaurant kitchen is a demanding place with time sensitive execution always pulling a rushed pace forward, often uncomfortably. But there is a zen like state that can be found in the bustle too; like when focus is given to the care of the process. It can feel like a dance from one ingredient to the next. And that is why I love edible flowers just as much as I do — It’s impossible to not be brought right into the exact moment when a flower garnish falls, seemingly always perfectly into its spot on the plate. It’s beauty welcomes you into the present moment and offers a spotlight on just how beautiful it all really is. 

There are more edible flowers than you may think. Some have more intense flavours than others. It’s important to pay attention when using them in a dish as, quite often, they will alter the final flavour profile. It’s almost like nature knows just how much happiness they give.  They are easy to find and use — as long as you know what you are looking for.

If you are interested in exploring their use in your culinary routine, perhaps this list of easily acquired options will offer some insight of where to start. And for added fun, if you have a flowers that seems to be speaking to you, look up its meaning — it may just be trying to tell you something.

Marigold {gem marigolds are my absolute favourite flavour of all the edible flowers}

Nasturtium {a peppery spice that stands up to both savoury and sweet dishes}

Rose {everything halts with its elegance}

Lavender {use very sparingly — perhaps try infusing a syrup, salt or spice blend with the buds}

Borage {sweet & savoury dishes}

Cornflower {the colour defines a good laugh if you ask me}

Pansy/Violette {really take a moment to look at these — they are wise}

Kale & Brassica flowers {the sweet reward of bolting veggies}

Calendula {my favourite is to rip the petals off and watch them fall from my hand high above the plate}