Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.
My tomatoes have yet to ripen, and my beets are still babies. But I'm still finding good stuff to eat from the garden. Lately, I've developed a taste for nasturtiums. I love the peppery bite of the leaves, and always pick off a few to nibble while I'm out watering or weeding. Best appetizer ever!
The flowers are really tasty, too, with slight variations, depending on the color. The lemon-yellow blooms have a light, flowery taste, while the bright red-orange ones are stronger, with more of the pepper kick like the leaves. The dark, dark red ones (Black Velvet) are slightly less flavorful. Maybe the taste got lost in all the breeding it took to get that distinctive color.
With the help of my nasturtiums, I whipped up the simplest yet most beautiful summer salad the other night. I picked my homegrown micro greens and augmented them with some store-bought lettuce, then tossed in some nasturtium leaves and a light vinaigrette. And for the final touch, I scattered nasturtium flowers, in all three colors, across the top. Gorgeous! The men in my family weren't too keen on eating flowers, I must confess, but my mom and daughter were impressed.
Now I'm thinking about trying to grow other edible flowers. There are many more options than I would have guessed. Here's a list, along with tips on how to use them.
I'm curious, fellow gardeners -- what edible flowers have you tried? How did you like them?
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