Flowers are the protagonists of spring and of our table, too: find out with Swide how you can put them to use in the kitchen. Here are our 5 recipes with edible flowers.
Flower cookery traces back to Roman times, but exists in also Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures. They were also popular during the Victorian era. Now they are back on our tables, as high-end cuisine and renowned chefs seem to really appreciate the additional twist they give to the dishes.
You can replicate that at home with our five simple recipes, just make sure to use only the flower indicated in the ingredients (because not all the flowers are edible!) and to carefully clean them of pistils and stamens: eat only the petals. And mostly, before preparing and serving these dishes, ask to each of your guests if they have any allergies.
Fresh snapdragons of various colours
Black olive pâté
Extra virgin olive oil
Slice the bread and toast it. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, the lemon and the parsley, in another one, mix some cream cheese and the black olives pâté. Using a teaspoon, stuff the Snapdragons alternatively with one or the other filling. Place one on each slice and season with olive oil. You can vary the filling as long as it stays delicate so to not cover the flavour of the flowers. Pair it with a Gewürztraminer from Alto Adige or a Riesling.
Rose Petals Risotto
6 red roses
1 pound of rice
2 cubes of vegetable or meat broth
3 OZ butter
1 OZ white onion
2 OZ grated Parmesan
Half glass of white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
Mince the onion and then brown it in a pan with oil and 1,5 OZ of butter. Toast the rice and pour some white wine and some broth, keeping stirring carefully. When the rice is almost done, add the 6 roses finely cut and cream it with Parmesan and the rest of the butter. Serves 4. Pair with a rosé wine, better if from Salento.
Seared tuna with lavender and pepper crust
1 1/2 pounds centre-cut Ahi tuna or 4 steaks
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried culinary Lavender flowers
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups savoury mixed fresh greens and herbs
Mustard seed dressing
If using the centre-cut Ahi tuna, trim and cut the tuna into a block approximately 2 inches across; then cut into 1-inch steaks. Crush the salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and lavender with a mortar and pestle. Lightly oil the tuna with 2 teaspoons of olive oil; evenly coat the tuna with the lavender-pepper mixture, patting off any excess. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan or a cast-iron pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Increase the heat to high and place the tuna in the pan. Sear for 1 minute, then turn over carefully, reducing the heat to medium. Sear the other side for 1 more minute until medium rare. Remove from heat and immediately refrigerate the tuna for at least 1 hour (don’t exceed the 3 hours). Serves 8. Pair with a Chardonnay.
Grilled chicken with nasturtiums pesto
1 chicken piece, breast or legs
4 cups of nasturtium petals
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1 ½ cup of olive oil
2 drops of Tabasco
1 cup of hazelnuts
Grill the chicken. On the side, mix all the ingredients with an electric mixer until you reach a creamy and soft consistency. Pair it with a Ligurian white wine, Pigato.
Strawberry and violet sorbet
2 pounds strawberries
9 OZ sugar
2 egg whites
Pour the sugar and the violets in a small pot with some water and bring to boil. Cook it on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Let it cool and then strain it. Clean the strawberries and mix them with the lemon juice, then add the violets to the mixture. Keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours, stirring it once in a while. Whip the egg whites and add it to the mixture only once the two hours have passed, stirring very carefully. Keep it in the freezer for another hour. Pair with a Prosecco.
Written by Elisa della Barba