Whenever I use flowers in my cooking and baking, people are always surprised that you can incorporate blooms into simple dishes. It has inspired me to write a little blog series this summer, sharing some of my favourite ways to try edible flowers. They are a great way to add colour and flavour – and can make a lovely unexpected touch for your guests. You can’t help but smile when you see flowers.
There are many great resources out there to tell you which flowers are safe to eat and it’s important that you always look it up before trying anything new. Some flowers have strong medicinal properties that cannot be combined with medications, and there are many flowers that you should avoid eating as well. A few of my favourites are pansies, zinnias, bachelor buttons, chive blossoms, nasturtiums and marigolds.
To kick off the series, I’ve whipped up a little bowl of Chive Blossom Butter – one of the easiest ways to use blooms from the garden to create a savoury spread. I tend to serve it up with a simple toasted baguette alongside a meal, but it would also make a great addition to a summery charcuterie board.
I’ve used chives and chive blossoms for this, but you can also add any herbs from your garden. It’s a fast and versatile recipe, that can be made ahead as well. You can use this same method to flavour goat cheese, cream cheese or even sour cream.
Chives are a perennial, meaning they’ll come back every year. I’ve had the same potted patch of chives since 2008, when I lived in my first apartment in Little Italy in Toronto, Canada. My mother had given me a clump from her garden and I’ve somehow managed to keep it alive for over a decade. Every time I’ve moved, it’s come along with me, in that very same planter all these years.
All this to say – if you don’t have them already, get yourself some chives. They do great in a garden, or in a container like I’ve always had. The blossoms are lovely in the early summer, and if you deadhead the flowers and water the plant often, you get chives throughout the summer. They’re amazing to add into any dish where you need a subtle onion flavour, like deviled eggs, pilaf or potato salad.
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- ¼ cup chopped chive blossoms and chives
- optional: sea salt
- Soften butter at room temperature. Whip with a fork until fluffy.
- Wash chive blossoms and chives, patting dry with a clean towel.
- Use scissors to finely chop the chive blossoms and chives.
- Mix into butter.
- Taste and add a pinch of sea salt if needed.
- Garnish with a whole blossom
- Store in the fridge. Can be rolled into a log and stored in freezer too.
Soften the butter at room temperature. Whip with a fork until fluffy. Wash chive blossoms and chives, patting dry with a clean towel. Finely chop the chive blossoms and chives – I find it best to use scissors when cutting up delicate herbs.
Mix into butter. Taste and add a pinch of sea salt if needed.
Garnish with a couple whole chive blossoms and serve with a toasted baguette.
I hope you’ll give Chive Blossom Butter a try! It’s a fun way to bring a little colour and flavour to the table. Come back soon for the next recipe of my Edible Flowers Summer Series.