Vibrant edible flower salad

overhead image of bowl of greens filled with fresh organic flowers

Vibrant edible flower salad

Get ready for vibrant spring produce, and learn how to make this vibrant salad with edible flowers for gorgeous and delicious entertaining in the garden this year! Learn about the flower flavors, where to find your petals, and how to use them safely and efficiently.

overhead image of bowl of greens filled with fresh organic flowers

The salad bowl gets used a whole lot more during this time of year. And when we add beautiful edible flowers? Not only do they add a lovely pop of color they add great flavor (some flowers have a sweet or spicy flavor!) and even more health benefits to your common green salad.

And now that you've got your flowers, be sure to store them in a way that keeps them fresh as long as possible!

  • Pansy - Incredibly easy to grow and beautiful in everything you add it to. It doesn't have much flavor to me, but it's so pretty and they literally bloom in a day or two after you pick them.
  • Nasturtiums - Sweet and spicy flavor, often used in savory appetizers and to garnish any and everything.
  • Violet - One of the first edible wildflowers you'll see in spring. It doesn't have much flavor, but adds a lot of beautiful color.
  • Dandelion - The dandelion plant is a common herb that can be found growing all over the world.The roots of this edible flower have been used for many years as medicine and it's flowers taste sweet like honey. Can be used in literally anything. Also see our dandelion salad and dandelion root salad dressing!
  • Calendula -  Also known as marigolds. The marigold flower has a wonderful and versatile flavor profile that ranges from spicy to bitter, tangy or peppery. Their pretty golden hues make them a perfect garnish.
  • Organic rose petals - The flavor of these flowers is reminiscent to that of strawberries and tart green apples. Darker varieties have a more prominent taste than their lighter counterparts, but all roses are edible.
  • Sunflowers - The flower tastes similar to artichokes, and everyone loves sunflower seeds in their salad!
  • Herb flowers - Basil, rosemary, mint, thyme and more herbs grow beautiful flowers when they're not pruned, which add an abundance of flavor to your salad. If you have them you'll love our Basil flower pesto.
  • Tulip Petals - The taste has an appealing flavor like sweet lettuce. Some people may have allergic reactions when touching them which can cause skin irritation etc., so if this happens don't eat these magnificent plants either - nor should you touch any bulbs ever consumed for safety reasons as well since many contain allergens inside their protective covering. Also see our tulip salad.
  • Borage - Has lovely cornflower blue star-shaped flowers. Blossoms and leaves have a cool, faint cucumber taste.   Also see cucumber borage salad.

Where to find edible flowers for a salad:

So if you're looking for fresh flowers near you, try these places first:

  • Your own garden: If you are serious about decorating with edible flowers, the best place to get them is from your own organic edible flower garden. Now, I know not everyone has the time and space for an outdoor or even container garden. So, you can do what I do (now that we're living in the Middle East and there is no way I can grow flowers outdoors) and use an indoor garden system. This is how I grow my own lavender, pansies, and more. So - rule of thumb, the very best place to get fresh edible flowers is from your own garden. When I haven't been able to grow my own I've found it expensive to source the amount I need. For a one time project, keep reading.

  • Organic farmers: The next best place is to source them from organic farmers. In every country I've lived in I've been able to find someone who grows organic flowers for consumption. They may be very seasonal, so keep reading to learn how to preserve your flowers and make them last as long as you need. But, it's very likely you can find someone who is already growing them.

  • Local farmers market: The farmers market will often have edible flowers due to their increased popularity. Before certain crops grow, they produce flowers - like squash blossoms, or cucumber flowers. And if you don't see any, ask the vendors. Maybe they'll bring some for you next time!

  • Grocery stores: During spring, you will likely see them in your the produce section of your local grocery stores. What I do is buy more than I think I'll need, preserve them. The best way to do is is to and make pressed flowers to preserve them so I can still use their natural beauty when they're no long in season. Sprouts and Whole Foods market has sold edible flowers in their produce section.

  • A local nursery: however you'd have to look for organic plants with edible flowers, these are the ones safe for consumption.

  • Online sites: If you live in the United States, there are several websites dedicated to selling organic flowers. 
  1. Gourmet sweet botanicals: Gourmet Sweet Botanicals sells high quality Edible Flowers and specialty items and ships direct to your door! These products are harvested, packed and shipped the same day from the farm to ensure the utmost in color, freshness & flavor. They ship nationwide and to Canada using FedEx and UPS overnight services.
  2. Cherry Valley Organics: As a USDA certified organic farm, we take great pride in growing our edible flowers without the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. This means that when you eat our edible blooms, you’re only tasting nature.
  3. Melissa's farms: Melissa’s Edible flowers complement many dishes, adding glamour and pure elegance. Varieties of edible flowers may include: Carnations, Hollyhocks, Daisies, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Chrysanthemums, Chicory, Cornflower, Lavender, Snapdragon, Violets and Pansies. Few of the edible flowers have a lot of flavor; they are primarily added for color, design and aesthetic value.

harvesting tips:

A little knowledge goes a long way towards ensuring your health and that of others, so make sure to read through these important precautions before consuming any type of edible flower.

  • Not every flower type is edible. Even simply garnishing a dish with a flower that is not edible can make you very ill. Be sure you have properly identified your plant before consuming. If you are foraging in nature, use a plant identification app, which helps people identify harmful vs harmless plant species so they don't get sick from trying new things while hiking through nature. Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible flowers and edible parts of those flowers.
  • Most store bought flowers are not safe for consumption. The type of flowers you plan to use for food should never come in contact with pesticides or other chemicals. The best edible flowers are ones you grow organically in your garden. The exception is the very seasonal food grade flowers sold in your local grocery store, more on this below.
  • Never harvest flowers growing by the roadside, chemically treated lawns, or areas with lots of animals.
  • If you haven't tried a particular flower in culinary uses, taste a small piece of the petal before consuming a whole petal. You can be allergic to flowers. Use flowers sparingly in your recipes due to the digestive complications that can occur with a large consumption rate

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite greens, I used dandelion greens, arugula and baby spinach.
  • Spiralized carrots
  • Thinly sliced cucumbers
  • Spring onion
  • Wild rose petals
  • Pansy flowers
  • Dianthus
  • Fried honey goat cheese

how to make this salad:

Start with your greens

big bowl of greens for edible flower salad, with a dish of edible flower petals on the side

Add in any large flower petals, if using

bowl of salad for edible flower salad filled with veggies and some flower petals, ready to be garnished

Next, add in your veggies. I'm using carrots, cucumbers and spring onions.

bowl of greens with carrots, cucumbers, rose petals ready for edible flower garnish

Top with some cheese, if using. I added our fried honey goat cheese.

vibrant edible flower salad with fried goat cheese

Finally, add your small edible flowers, like pansies!

bowl of salad with goat cheese and edible flowers

Dressing an edible flower salad:

Don't add your dressing until immediately before serving to prevent dredging your beautiful petals. I love my dandelion root vinaigrette which is an extremely healthy and delicious edible flower dressing! You can use any dressing, we also love a good a green goddess dressing 

Dandelion root vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dandelion root (roasted or fresh)

Simply place all ingredients in a speed blender and blend until it's creamy and smooth.

overhead image of bowl of greens filled with fresh organic flowers

Vibrant edible flower salad

Yield: 1 large salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Get ready for vibrant spring produce, and learn how to make this vibrant salad with edible flowers for gorgeous entertaining in the garden. Learn about the flower flavors, where to find your petals, and how to use them safely and efficiently.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh greens: arugula, dandelion, spinach
  • One small carrot, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • One Persian cucumber, thinly sliced or spiralized
  • Two spring onions, thinly chopped
  • Several clean, organic pansies
  • Organic rose petals

Instructions

    In a large bowl or plate, add your greens

    Sprinkle with sea salt

    Add any large petal flowers you may be using

    Top with your vegetables

    Add any cheese, if using

    Garnish with your flowers

Notes

If you need to make this salad ahead, do not dress the salad. But you can store it in the refrigerator overnight.

Dandelion root vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dandelion root (roasted or fresh)

Simply place all ingredients in a speed blender and blend until it's creamy and smooth.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 58Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 45mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 2g

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love edible flowers? these resources may be useful to you:

Download our free edible flower meaning chart to craft beautiful recipes with intention!

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