27 Feb 2011

February Big Picture

Freshly made tortellini flavoured with goats cheese, herbs and lemon.

14 Feb 2011

Using Flowers

Valentines Day is upon us and the shops are bursting with flowers.

Flowers are not just for your loved ones, they should also be for your plates. They make a beautiful garnish, decoration or delicious ingredient.

Here are some examples:

* Crystallised violets and sugared rose petals add a delightful vintage touch to any dessert.
* Lavender flavoured biscotti with crème brulee or lamb marinated in lavender for a divine taste.
* Bright orange nasturtiums, marigold* petals, dandelion and tiny blue borage for garnishing salads.
* Courgette and squash flowers – tempura and garnish a risotto or fill them with fresh crab meat as a delicate canapé.
* Borage flowers – I can’t drink Pimm’s without them now (word of advice for gardeners – plant carefully – plant one borage plant and next year you will have ten).
* Hibiscus flower buds in glass cups, open into a beautiful tea.
* Daylily (lilies are poisonous but this isn’t a real lily) – fabulous if stripped into individual petals in a salad and also makes a great ingredient for an omelette.
* All herb flowers are edible, look pretty and often more flavoured than the herb leaves.
* Chive flowers – perfect to decorate delicate dishes such as smoked salmon parfait and cucumber salad.
* Pea shoots and bean flowers make for sophisticated toppings for sea bass.
* Camomile – keep calm with freshly brewed tisanes.
* Bergamot – amazing deep red and really useful in rice & pasta dishes, with pork or as a vibrant topping to salads.

NEVER use the following as garnishes or décor: foxglove, daffodil, crocus, lily of the valley. If you are in doubt, don’t eat it!

BE AWARE that asthmatics may suffer allergies to daisies and marigolds.

(I've also uploaded this article to my regular slot on The Wedding Community pages)