By Bren Herrera
Last month I shared an amazing Mariage Freres Earl Grey Tea and biscotti combo that was wonderfully befitting for April showers. All that rain has bloomed amazing flowers, at least in my part of town.
In fact, just this past weekend I visited the Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach where just about every variety of exotic and everyday flowers are budding and showing off. As I strolled through the massive bucolic and structural garden, I came to a patch of flowers, which struck my eye. Not only were they bold in color and robust in aroma, but also I realized most of them were edible.
There were roses, hydrangeas, snapdragons, lily’s, honeysuckles (my all-time favorite as a child), violets, which I use regularly to garnish desserts and jasmine.
For a gourmet, the epitome of tasteful eating is exhibited when your dish is beautifully presented and more importantly, when everything on the plate is edible and leaves your palate tickled. The visit to the gardens inspired a dish that perfectly embodies those qualities.
In deciding what to create and share with you today, I took a quick, unofficial poll on my Faceboook page and asked friends what their favorite edible flowers are. I wasn’t completely surprised by the responses but enjoyed reading the plethora of interests from like-minded cooks. Aside from the widely popular micro rosebuds and lavender, orchids, juniper, elderflower (wonderful for St. Germain cocktails), borage and nasturtium made the list.
Timing couldn’t have been better. Between inspiration drawn from the garden visit and the distinct floral taste my foodie friends shared I finally decided on a lovely dish that would represent the seasons’ best flowers. Fortunately, Dean & DeLuca had all the lovely components that made this a summer go-to!
Enjoy this fresh and summer Lemon & Pepper Linguine pasta salad infused with notes of lavender and a light fish, drizzled with a lavender vinaigrette and topped with a lavish amount of seasonal flowers that you can actually nibble on. It’ll take your eating experience to a fancier level, that’s for sure!
Lemon Linguine Pasta Salad With Edible Flowers
1 pack Lemon & Black Pepper linguine
1 lb. pre-cooked shrimp, rinsed and pat dried
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
½ cup mixed edible flowers (rose buds, carnations and snap dragons)
8 fresh sage leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp. lavender vinaigrette
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice from fresh lemon
1 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. fresh lavender
2 sprigs fresh dill, parted
salt to taste
Make dressing first. In small mixing bowl, mix lavender vinaigrette, olive oil, fresh lavender and lemon juice. Stir well and let sit for 30 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package instructions, preferably al dente. Strain and set aside. In large non-stick skillet, sautée shrimp in butter until almost cooked, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, sage leaves and 1 dill sprig and finish cooking shrimp, approximately 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove sage leaves from mixture. Add shrimp mixture and cherry tomatoes to chilled pasta. Salt to taste. Drizzle lavender dressing and toss well. Garnish pasta salad with remaining dill and flowers.
What’s your favorite edible flower?
For more from Bren Herrera, please visit her at Flanboyant Eats This writer may have been given product and/or other compensation from Dean & DeLuca for this post.