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Edible Flowers

The wild leek, or ramp, is one of the first edibles to appear in spring in Appalachia.
Wendell Smith
The wild leek, or ramp, is one of the first edibles to appear in spring in Appalachia.

Roast in the preheated oven until squash blossoms are hot, about 10 minutes.

As an avid gardener I know how much pleasure my garden can be when it's in full bloom. It's a feast for the eyes, and it always improves my mood just to gaze upon it. My colleague Chef Jerry Pellegrino will take that concept of floral beauty one step further by putting some flowers right on the plate.

Here is an exhaustive list of edible flowers. You'll be amazed at what's on it.

  1. Acacia
  2. Allium
  3. Anise Hyssop
  4. Bachelor’s Button
  5. Bee Balm
  6. Begonia
  7. Berries
  8. Borage
  9. Bougainvillea
  10. Calendula
  11. Camellia
  12. Carnations
  13. Chamomile
  14. Chicory
  15. Chrysanthemum
  16. Citrus
  17. Clover
  18. Coneflower
  19. Cosmos
  20. Dahlia
  21. Daisy
  22. Dandelion
  23. Daylily
  1. Elderflower
  2. Evening Primrose
  3. Forget-Me-Not
  4. Forsythia
  5. Fuchsia
  6. Gardenia
  7. Geranium
  8. Gladiolus
  9. Hawthorn
  10. Hibiscus
  11. Hollyhock
  12. Honeysuckle
  13. Hosta
  14. Impatiens
  15. Jasmine
  16. Lavender
  17. Lemon Verbena
  18. Lilac
  19. Linden
  20. Lotus and Water Lily
  21. Magnolia
  22. Mallow
  23. Marigolds
  1. Mint
  2. Nasturtium
  3. Orchid
  4. Pansy
  5. Passionflower
  6. Peas and Beans
  7. Peony
  8. Phlox
  9. Pommes and Stone Fruits
  10. Primrose
  11. Rosemary
  12. Snapdragon
  13. Squash and Other Cucurbits
  14. Sunflower
  15. Sweet Alyssum
  16. Sweet William
  17. Sweet Woodruff
  18. Tulip (flower only)
  19. Violet
  20. Yarrow
  21. Yucca

Then there is a list of flowers that should never be eaten (some are outright poisonous.)

1.  Hydrangea

               2.  Clematis

               3.  Calotropis

               4.  Oleander

               5.  Azalea

               6.  Daffodil

               7.  Lantana

               8.  Foxglove (digitalis)

               9.  Lily of the Valley

               10.  Morning Glory

               11.  Wisteria

               12.  Periwinkle

               13.  Iris

               14.  Wolf's Bane

               15.  Autumn crocus

               Here is a classic idea Jerry has come up with.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and leaves chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

salt and ground black pepper to taste

3 ounces goat cheese (chevre)

8 zucchini blossoms, stamen removed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat; add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chard and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add basil, salt, and pepper, and cook until basil is soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Place cooled chard mixture between 2 towels and press to remove excess moisture.

Stir goat cheese and chard mixture together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Fill zucchini blossoms about 3/4 full with the goat cheese mixture, and pinch the ends closed. Place filled blossoms in a roasting pan; drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast in the preheated oven until squash blossoms are hot, about 10 minutes.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill. A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.