Edible flowers brighten up our dishes!
Garlic, courgette or chive flowers, many varieties are blooming on our plates. Used as a star ingredient or as a simple touch, they offer a broad spectrum of colours and flavours. From combination ideas to preservation methods, learn to cook with them!
From bouquet to plate: the late arrival of the flowers into cuisine
Although flowers have made a late entry in cuisine, they have quickly seduced top chefs. Numerous gourmet restaurants today are giving them pride of place. And for good reason! They enhance the simplest of dishes by bringing a touch of spring and lightness. Highly visual, they also enhance the ingredients of a recipe by subtly recalling their colours.Among their followers are the heads of our two stores, starting with Beatriz González. In charge of the restaurant Le Rive Droite, she has made them the signature of her resolutely feminine cuisine.
This also goes for La Table where the different flowers come directly from the rooftop of Le Bon Marché; they are all grown in this exclusive garden alongside many fruits and vegetables.
Iodine or peppery flavours: the amazing palette of flower flavours
Although some flowers have a purely decorative role, others are distinguished by their often unique flavours. The borage flower brings a slight iodised taste while the nasturtium reveals rather peppery flavours. Cédric Erimée, chef at La Table, uses them respectively in his fish and poultry recipes. '«'The borage flower pairs well with a ceviche; it is also very appealing in a veal tartar for a truly refined marriage of 'surf and turf' flavours.»
Another great favourite in our kitchens, the tagete is appreciated for its sweet notes, which are similar to those of passion fruit. It will brighten up a pastry or a spring salad.
Normally reserved for desserts, roses and violets also have a place in our savoury recipes that they stylishly revisit. Audrey and Mathilde, florists at the Maison Désirée, use them for instance in a condiment or for flavouring a sauce. «We can make a violet mustard as a seasoning for a salad or rose vinaigrette to accompany cold meats and charcuterie.» The strongest ones can also be stuffed, such as the courgette flower and its famous fritters.
Our tips for cooking them
Although more than 200 varieties of flowers can be eaten, some are often difficult to find out of season. Check your calendar before you start! If not, choose them dehydrated, such as the hibiscus flower; it is then used as an infusion to make a syrup or flavour a cream.
Fragile by nature, flowers die quickly upon contact with heat. Add them at the last moment, just before serving.
Finally, to preserve your flowers for as long as possible, wrap them in a slightly damp and absorbent piece of paper and place it preferably in a cool place. When protected this way, they can last up to 5 days.
Our easy recipe: minute-made strawberry and crystallised rose tartlets
Now you know all there is to know about edible flowers! Get started now with our easy-to-make strawberry and rose tartlet recipe.
1) With a brush, apply 150 g of lightly beaten egg white on each side of the petals and dip in crystal sugar.
2) Remove the access and place the petals on a grill. Leave to dry for 2 hours at room temperature.
3) Beat 300 ml of very cold cream into a firm whipped cream, add 20 g of icing sugar and continue beating.
4) Garnish 6 high quality tartlets with this whipped cream using a pastry bag.
5) Distribute 250 g of chopped strawberries into quarters as well as a few currants, and insert the crystallised rose petals. Serve immediately.