An edible flower salad is not only gorgeous to look at, it's also delicious, healthy, and downright cheerful.
This mixed greens and herb salad with edible flowers showcases is the very best of spring and summer gardens with a riot of color and shapes, fragrances, and flavors.
It's a beautiful thing to serve at an afternoon tea party, as a light lunch in the garden, or alongside wedges of quiche for a charming picnic under the trees.
Although this salad is a showcase for a dazzling assortment of edible flowers, it can be made heartier with the addition of toasted seeds or nuts, a sprinkle of goat's cheese or Feta cheese, or a few wafer-thin pieces of prosciutto.
It goes well with slices of crunchy sourdough, tender savory muffins, or a cheese platter with a good mix of creamy and sharp cheeses.
How to Make an Edible Flower Salad
Salad means something different to everyone. Some love wedges of pale iceberg lettuce while others prefer a mix of bitter greens like frisée and radicchio. This salad is a blend of rainbow chard in vivid magenta and gold, red-veined sorrel, enormous celery leaves, and peppery, tiny new nasturtium leaves.
In reality, anything goes with this salad, just keep it interesting with differing colors, flavors, and textures. Try a mesclun mix with arugula or red oak lettuce and romaine or throw in some edible leaves from plants like rosellas or peas.
Herbs and Edible Flowers
There are many herbs that go beautifully in an edible flower salad, but some are too strong and powerful. Avoid things like rosemary, sage, and thyme, and have fun with lighter herbs like dill, mint, coriander, fennel, and nasturtiums.
Whichever variety you choose, cut or tear them into small pieces so they can be scattered through the salad and provide a surprise in every bite.
There is an incredible range of edible flowers that can be used in cooking, baking, drinking, and, in this salad. This version boasts flowers from blue rosemary, lemon verbena, rose geranium, elder, rose, fennel, and mint. There are also bright yellow buttons of tansy, a flower that is edible in small amounts but should be avoided in large portions, and tiny white carrot blooms from carrots that went to seed in the garden.
Depending on the time of year, there are other varieties that would also be welcome. Fragrant lavender and jasmine are delightful in small amounts, pea flowers are fresh and delicate, and borage, lilac, calendula, violets, and flowers from basil, thyme, and chives are also wonderful options.
After picking the edible flowers, give them a gentle wash then lay them out on a clean dish towel to dry and let any spiders and ants find a new place to live.
With larger flowers like roses, elder, and calendula, remove the petals from the flower base and scatter them over the salad instead of the entire flower.
This edible flower salad does well with a light and fruity dressing. Raspberry vinaigrette or poppyseed dressing are great choices, but avoid heavy, creamy dressings like ranch or blue cheese since they will completely overwhelm the delicate flavors and fragrances of this salad.
This charming salad is lovely served with light, flowery teas like our Magical Butterfly herbal tea with rosehips, hibiscus, butterfly pea flowers, and blue cornflowers, Evening in the Garden herbal tea, a fine honeybush tea with elderflower, rose, lemon, and vanilla, or Strawberry Honeysuckle black tea with calendula and honeysuckle essence. Served either iced or hot, these teas will be an excellent accompaniment to a gorgeous salad.
Herbal Salad with Edible Flowers and Mixed Greens
- Assorted fresh greens (rainbow chard, celery leaves, nasturtium leaves, red-veined sorrel, lettuces)
- Assorted fresh edible flowers (rosemary, mint, roses, lemon verbena, tansy, strawberry, elderflower)
- Assorted fresh herbs (fennel, dill, mint, parsley, coriander)
- 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Wash and dry greens, herbs, and flowers.
In layer individual bowls with greens first, then herbs, then flowers.
In small bowl, whisk together raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar, and drizzle over salads. Serve immediately.