Food from your flower beds: 11 unusual garden recipes for budding chefs

Cordial made with elderflower
Cordial made with elderflower

Nettle soup and tulip canapés have been named as two of the unusual dishes Brits can cook up from their flower beds.

Plant specialists Gardening Express.co.uk have revealed 11 of the most delicious recipes to feature flowers that many Brits might not have sampled previously.

From hibiscus and sumac prawns to chamomile jelly, the garden and kitchen can combine to make a delightful meal for experimental cooks up and down the country.

Chris Bonnett from GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Flowers can provide a brilliant range of flavours, colours and textures to get budding chefs salivating.

“Sweet or savoury, snack or meal, food or drink – edible flowers are always a tasty treat for adventurous cooks and there are so many brilliant recipe ideas out there, just waiting to be discovered.

“Our researchers have listed some of the lesser known yet delicious garden dishes; there’s no time like the present to try a nasturtium salad and an elderflower cordial.”

Here are the 11 flower based treats GardeningExpress.co.uk recommend trying:

1. Nettle Soup

This classic dish is made by cooking traditional vegetables in oil and then stock until soft, before adding nettle leaves; once they have wilted, blend the soup and decorate with dead nettle flowers.

2. Lavender Lamb

Make a roast dinner to remember by stuffing the meat with sprigs of fresh lavender, or mix the flowers with honey and oil to form a glaze.

3. Chrysanthemum and Dandelion Frittata

Take the heads of chrysanthemums and dandelions, chop roughly and fry with beaten egg, diced onion and cooked potato for a yummy flower based lunch.

4. Nasturtium Salad

Give a regular salad an extra lease of life by tossing bright nasturtium flowers through it; they have a peppery flavour, similar to watercress.

5. Chamomile Jelly

Dissolve honey into boiling water before adding chamomile flowers; sieve the leaves out before adding the gelatine, then leave the flowery flavours to set in the fridge.

6. Hibiscus and Sumac Prawns

Mix oil, lemon juices and spices with hibiscus and sumac to create a tasty marinated for prawns to be fried or baked in.

7. Viola Cake

Elevate any homemade cake by decorating with vibrant viola petals; they have a sweet, perfumed flavour and are great crystallised.

8. Elderflower Cordial

A refreshing drink for all seasons, this cordial is back in fashion; trim fresh elderflower heads from their stalks and infuse in a sugar syrup, with lemon zest and for at least a day, before diluting.

9. Tulip Canapés

Untreated tulip petals can make for an eye-catching and edible mini-plate at parties – try topping with a spoonful of cheese dip.

10. Rose Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight is already a great sweet treat, but adding rosewater to the recipe will give it an extra-special flavour to savour.

11. Garden Chai

Pour boiling water over geranium leaves and anise hyssop flowers, rest for fifteen minutes and then strain; fill a mug with half garden mixture and half regular tea, then add milk or sugar and stir before drinking.