Stepladder Ranch & Creamery's property has an abundance of year-round and seasonal flowers (and weeds) - most of which are "volunteers" that pop up naturally. We've learned to accept their growth and actually incorporate some of their petals and seeds into our cooking and cheeseboard decorating.
Before you go foraging for edible flowers and plants in your area, it's always good to do some research ahead of time to make sure you are aware of what truly is edible and what to avoid consuming.
Below are a few of Michelle's favorite edible flowers on the property and her tips to incorporate on your next cheeseboard.
Nasturtium (above) are beautiful flowers that vary in colors of orange, yellow and red. They have a sweet fragrance but a peppery flavor. They are fully edible and also lure away aphids from other plants in the garden - double win!
Borage (below in Michelle's hand) are a lovely purple color and taste just like cucumber. The flowers make a great addition to salads, summer cocktails and paired with cheese for a refreshing flavor of the mild cucumber.
Calendula (header photo) come in colors of orange and yellow. The flowers and leaves are edible. The flowers have a mild, yet slightly bitter, flavor with tangy, herbal and peppery notes too. The leaves have a stronger bitter/vegetal taste similar to dandelion greens.
Flower petals are delicate and can easily tear and wilt after being picked off the stem/from the main plant. It's best to use your edible flower collection as soon as possible for the most vibrant colors and textures.
If adding to your Chèvre for an artistic addition to your cheeseboard, we suggest adding directly into the soft cheese or arranging the petals into fun designs. Remove the cheese from the container and roll (with your hands) into a ball or oval shape. Place the cheese ball on your serving board then arrange your edible flowers/petals. Edible flowers can also be used as garnishes/additions to the board scattered around other cheeses, crackers and fruits. Our friend @platesbylisa on Instagram puts together gorgeous cheeseboards that usually include edible flowers as garnishes.
Other edible flowers to consider:
- Squash blossoms
- Rose petals
- And many more! Just Google a full list :)
Remember, it's supposed to be fun and playful. Don't stress too much if the petals aren't perfect or the flowers start to wilt a bit.
Share your photos on Instagram and Facebook and tag @stepladdercreamery so we can repost and see your cheeseboard creations! Enjoy!