Hot answers tagged flowers
If you pinch off the basil flowers as they start to grow, the plant will produce more leaves. (Yes, this is a horticultural answer, but it will help you make more yummy dishes with the leaves.)
By using a dehuller machine. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hegzzj9Rzk or http://www.buhlergroup.com/global/en/products/dehuller-dgba.htm How does a dehuller work? I don't know, but it seems that Google does: The most popular decorticator for sunflower is proposed by the Bühler Cie. It consists in a rotating blade that propels the seeds by ...
If you wanted to use them in cooking, I would recommend putting them in a satchel (tie some cheesecloth with cooking twine), as I know some people who don't actually like to eat the flowers, but enjoy the bitter tang they'll add to a dish. They are edible, however, so if it turns out you like them, they make a beautiful garnish for a salad. I'm not a huge ...
They're commonly called squash blossoms in English - as you might guess, this is because it doesn't matter too much what kind of squash they're from. They'll most commonly be from smaller summer squash plants (e.g. zucchini) though, since they produce many small squash instead of a few large squash (like pumpkins), so you can get more blossoms for your ...
I love basil flowers. They are so much fun and I use them all the time. I have noticed that different varieties of basil at different times of the summer/growth stage will result in more bitter or delicate tasting buds. You'll just have to experiment, but I have definitely had some really floral tasting flowers this summer. I'll throw them into a pesto ...
The flowers you're picturing there certainly appear to be zucchini flowers. As for what's traditional, Mexican cuisine also uses a lot of pumpkin seeds, so I'd think that pumpkin flowers, which are also quite edible and tasty, would be considered appropriate as well. In the USA, zucchini flowers are much easier to find than pumpkin flowers, however.
Rose petals are edible. If you look for rose petal recipes, you will find many creative uses of them, including rice pudding with roses - so your pudding intuition was correct. During colonial American times they were considered a treat. You can candy rose petals with egg whites and sugar - typical cautions about appropriate raw egg white useage applies. ...
You can use them to flavor other foods. I've seen cakes and other sweets made with hop flowers. You will probably want a low alpha-acid variety(alpha acid makes the bitter flavor), but both could be interesting. To use, you could dry the flowers and mill to a fine powder. This can then be incorporated directly into food. I think they could be used similarly ...
You can get them dried and otherwise processed from Amazon, rose water too. Fresh is going to be a greater challenge. I don't know of a better answer than letting your fingers do the walking or making friends with a gardener. Of course, if money is no object there is always an option.
I've heard you can cook and serve the young shoots (just a few inches long) much as you would asparagus. Has anyone actually done this?
Infuse into oil for salad dressings
You've already done some research but here's another link. http://alloveralbany.com/archive/2008/05/09/tulips-really-are-edible-sort-of I've only ever used the petals for salads.
If you're making a Persian dish with rice, then add some rose water to the cooking water. The rice then becomes very fragrant. I like it with slightly sweet pork dishes. This raises the question of how to make rose water from rose petals. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing you could just put them in a (clean!) cloth bag and add that to the water instead.
You can use them to make marmalade, or (with a slightly more complex process), you can perform steam distillation of the petals and extract the essential oils, which you can use as a very pleasant aroma (after dilution) in ice creams and popsicles. Remember that it's very important to have pesticides-free petals.
Basil flowers can be eaten, for instance in soup.
Dry basic flowers can be used to make a awesome little potpourri pouch or a small sachet :)
Using basil flowers in my fresh tomatoes I'm cooking down to can is Excellent! Strong in flavour but I like that. If you don't dilute it! :-) ~
Vinegar. Pinch off the blossoms and pack them in a jar, cover with white vinegar, seal and keep in the fridge for a few weeks to flavor through... Then discard the blossoms and use the vinegar for dressings or marinades. Delicious stuff... Use sparingly though!
Yes, you can use them just as you'd use basil leaves. They're generally milder tasting and more decorative in your dish. Also - from flowers to seeds - a new harvest is also an opportunity.
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