Your garden is full of unexpected flowers and herbs that you can utilize in your next meal. Here’s how.Begonias
With the flavor of a Granny Smith apple, these flowers can complement your apple crisp. After cooking down apples, try adding a hefty layer of begonias for a pop of flavorful fun. “You get a really bright, acidic flavor that complements the sweet baked apples,” says Jamie Simpson, executive chef liaison at the Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden.
These completely edible flowers provide a sweet sensation of orange soda. Simpson recommends adding dried marigolds to tea or infusing them in gin for a unique summer cocktail. “They play into the floral notes of gin,” he says. “They’re really versatile, hearty plants.”
Nasturtium thrives in hanging baskets and planter boxes with full sun. The whole plant is edible, so try blending it with some vanilla ice cream for a refreshing surprise. “It tastes like a spicy, beautiful, almost floral, herbaceous mustard,” says Simpson. Go one step further and elevate your next salmon dish with a scoop of your very own nasturtium ice cream.
Found in almost any yard, purslane can grow practically anywhere. It doesn’t require a lot of water, or even soil. Simpson recommends adding the leaves to your smoothie for a boost of vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids. The leaves taste like lemon zest and arugula, adding a sweet sourness to any dish. “You can blanch it, you can saute it, or you can eat it raw,” says Simpson.