I love edible flowers! They are the best decoration for many dishes.
My most favorite ones are:
Nasturtiums (they are prolific)
Lemon rose geranium leaves and flowers as garni
Rose petals (rose petal sorbet is one of my favorites)
I didn't know b. buttons were edible. I was going to have my kids plant these as their first go at gardening because the package said they grow so well. It's great to know I can also use them in cooking!
I love edible flowers too. Only trouble is, when I serve them to many others, they pick them tenderly out because "they're so pretty." Pretty and delicious, dears!
Like Papa, I love roses in all kinds of things (my wedding cake had an edible garnish of drifts of rose petals!). Lavender... I've made lavender ice cream, and I'm also very fond of doing up a sort of pastry tart with lavender-seasoned apples or pears or peaches -- mm.
Any sort of violet-y thing is good, and lovely in spring salad -- wild violets, the johnnies, or pansies. Also great on cakes or chocolates, of course.
Chive blossoms, ripped into their individual florets, are a marvellous savoury garnish.
Nasturtiums likewise -- spicy!
Unopened or half-opened day lily buds are great too. They're a bit more substantial than most flowers, with a sweet green flavour, excellent in salad, or dropped into a light soup in the last few moments.
Oh -- and leave us not forget the elderflower -- fresh, in elderflower fritters or pancakes. Dried, they give a beautiful elusive perfume to a quick simple white cake. I just make sure they're free of stems, and throw a couple of tablespoons right in.
Sweet woodruff blossoms are very pretty, and of course have that wonderful vanilla flavour, but I find that they're best used as a garnish, and strained out of anything they're actually meant to flavour; they have a strangely "hairy" quality.
Flowers you might not know are edible,and beautiful,
The flower of artichokes are a soft lavender color
The flowers of different types of beans
Chives (like said before)
Dill and even eggplant.
Jerusalem artichokes have a lovely yellow flower.
okra and salsify have white and light blue flowers
Suger snaps have a nice white and sometimes purple flower
I love the fern like foliage of asparagus or the tiny flowers on thyme,also like papa said,the scented geranium,weather lemon,rose ect are almost impossible to resist
I would say in the late 70s we started seeing zucc blossems over here,and seeing them used in culinary preparations.I have stuffed many a zucc blossem..but like anything that is hot and popular you have to pay through the nose for them now. What a shame for something that used to be discarded
What can be more romantic than eating flowers? The last time I asked this question, the person answered chocolate. But I'm holding firm to flowers.
The trouble I have is finding non-sprayed flowers for use in cooking. Despite all my combing through local farmers markets, I still haven't found a reliable source for roses. I've even offered to pay the organic farmers money but understandably, they are reluctant to trim their rosebushes for the likes of a fanatical pastry chef (I do feel like Cruella DeVille at the thought of sacrificing someone else's blooms).
Currently, I am solarizing my garden (nothing like starting from scratch) so it will be at least a few years before I can grow enough roses for use in making desserts. I can hardly wait.
I love flower-scented candies (rose jellies, mints), violet tablets. Lavender is great in desserts and savory cooking. Chop a little up and mix in with your shortbread next time. Gardenia in Jasmine tea is so fragrant, I can dance on air. People forget that it's gardenias that make Jasmine tea what it is. It's great for making infusions for syrups to flavor different things. Just try sweetening a bowl of sliced strawberries next time.
The most fun I had with tiny edible flowers was the Easter before last. I filled tiny little choux puffs with lemon curd lightened with whipped cream. Stuck a choux handle on it and placed various little edible flowers (dianthus, johnny jump ups, lavender) to make tiny little flower baskets for an afternoon tea.
Sometimes when I am in the garden and need a break, I pick the little verbena, honey suckle, rosemary or whatever tubular flower I have around to attract hummingbirds and butterflies and gently nibble on the base where the nectar is for a little treat.
In the flea market in San Jose, I've seen bundles and bundles of dried hibiscus flowers (called jamaica, pronounced ha.my.ka) sold. The vendors say that a sweetened drink is made by infusing the blossoms. It looks like cranberry juice.
But my real favorite edible flower is cauliflower. I like it more than broccoli.
French pastry chefs use crystallized flowers as cake decoration (especially candied violets). But it is also common to eat crystallized flowers as candy. And they are delicious. I think it is really hard to make good crystallized flowers though.