Nothing makes a dish look fancier or more appropriate for springtime than an edible flower garnish. If you are planning to throw a dinner party to celebrate the end of the school year, garnishing with edible flowers is a great way to bring the appearance of your dinner plate to the next level. It is an easy and simple touch that adds a lot of refinement. Here are our tips for choosing and using the perfect blossom.
Edible flowers should be purchased at the grocery store. You can find them in the produce section, usually near the fresh herbs. Do not use flowers from the florist or those picked from nature. This way, you will avoid the risk of selecting something poisonous or ingesting chemical pesticides that florists spray on their flowers.
Fresh is best
Although edible flowers can last over a week if kept refrigerated and moistened, it is best to use them the day of purchase. The colors will be more vibrant, and the petals will not be wilted or floppy.
Like any produce, it is important to wash flowers before you plate them. Washing them removes dirt or other harmful residue, ensuring that you are not serving something gross or harmful.
Pick for color
Most edible flowers do not taste good and, while it is safe to eat them, they are mostly intended for decoration. For this reason, the main factor in your selection should be color. Try to get something that will contrast nicely with the plate of food you are garnishing. Yellow looks pretty with red-based tomato and basil pasta, while purple complements creamier dishes.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 29 print edition. Chandler West is dining editor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.