From The Kitchen

Edible Blooms

People don’t normally put flowers on their food at home, so I feel like it’s really nice to offer our guests something different when they come to experience meals here. Little details, like beautiful and fun edible flower garnishes, are a part of that.

Being on the Farm, we have access to a lot of great edible flowers whether they’re growing in the garden or growing wild around property.

Red buds are one of my favorites, and they get utilized a lot at the Farm. They have a sweet-sour flavor note, and using them as a garnish on a dish adds a pop of acidity to the bite. They’re a great garnish for savory or sweet recipes – they can really go on anything. We also dehydrate red buds and make a powder. It has a great pink color.
Johnny Jump Ups, which are violas, are a little sweet and a little vegetable-like in flavor. They have great color. Wild violas are fun to use and taste similar to a bell pepper.

When we get into Summer, we’ll use sunflower petals, marigolds, roses and bachelor buttons. Bachelor buttons are probably my favorite because you get the ‘most for your money’. They have so many petals that you can garnish several dishes with one flower. They add a really beautiful pop of color, and they have no flavor so they can go on anything. They’re really fun!

Herbs and greens also flower. So if we use radish in a dish, we’ll use the radish flower to garnish. Herb flowers are super flavorful, so we are really purposeful about using them. You can use one tiny flower to get all the flavor you need.

Edible flowers aren’t only for garnishing, though. You can also pickle some flowers, like roses and marigolds. The pickling liquid can then be used in things like cocktails and desserts. All the liveliness of the flower goes into the liquid, and you get great flavor from it. You can even make marigold oil and make marigold aioli with that oil. We really like to use our ingredients in interesting ways and make the most of what the Farm provides us.

When I want to garnish or use a wild flower in a dish, I usually focus on picking what will complement the flavor. Except with bachelor buttons – because they don’t really add a flavor, they can be strictly an eye-catching accessory!

Cassidee Dabney, Executive Chef of The Barn at Blackberry Farm®

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