Food and blooms have been BFFs for centuries: Romans added violets and roses to their meals, and Victorian-era cooks were partial to petals, too. We can see why. Flowers instantly pretty up a dish—and add surprising flavor. Look for them near the herbs at the supermarket or at the farmers' market. Your florist may also sell them. (Just ask if they've been sprayed with pesticides.) Or find a garden's worth of options online at sites like gourmetsweetbotanicals.com.
Five to try:
This marigold variety has a peppery flavor that's great for garnishing soups and rice.
Bright with a spicy kick. Add to an arugula salad or an omelet (in the filling and as a garnish).
Steep petals in water for tea or in simple syrup for cocktails.
Dunk these purple blooms in simple syrup, transfer to parchment paper, sprinkle with sugar, and let dry. Add to any dessert.
These mild butter-yellow blooms, available in summer, are luscious the Italian way: stuffed with herbs and ricotta, then battered and fried.