Nothing says "it's summertime" like a vibrant edible flower salad on the table. There are so many flowers blooming throughout Santa Barbara right now, and many of them are edible. If you aren't sure where to start, you might just try one or two varieties sprinkled on top. Maybe you have violas, pansies, calendulas or chamomile in your garden? Any or all of those will work. Maybe you have nasturtiums out back or a few pineapple guava blossoms left on your tree? Excellent. If you are adventurous and into foraging, you can find mallow, wild mustard, wild radish, nasturtium and elderflower this time of year. You can pop just a few blossoms on top of a traditional salad or even go 100% flowers - it's up to you. My personal favorite is a mix:
Early Summer Edible Flower Salad Recipe
- One head of lettuce or the equivalent amount of mixed lettuce leaves
- 1 T chamomile blossoms
- 2 T calendula petals
- 3/4 C mix of available edible flowers (violas, pansies, wild radish blossoms and fruits, mallow blossoms and buttons, wild mustard, nasturtium, starflower, wild rose petals, pineapple guava blossoms, etc.)
Wash, pat dry, and tear to size the lettuce, and place in a beautiful bowl. On top, sprinkle chamomile blossoms, calendula petals, and other edible flowers.
A simple dressing of olive oil and rice vinegar or balsamic is perfect for this salad.
*Not all flowers are edible, and some are very poisonous. Please make sure the flowers you use are safe to eat. Please see resources below.
- "Edible and Useful Plants of California" by Charlotte Bringle Clarke
- "Edible Wild Plants" by Elias and Peter Dykeman
Photos by: Lauren Ross