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Have You Ever Eaten a Flower?

No? Of course you have! What about broccoli? That cluster of snappy green florets is just that—one jolly, green, giant flower. Check out the bouquets budding up in the Cooking Light garden this week. We’re excited about the early spring crop currently forming on these silvery-green, stately plants. And a bonus of growing your own (besides the 15-foot haul to the kitchen sink) is the extra crop of tender side shoots that form on the stalk after harvesting the main head. Shoot – you can even eat the leaves!

We do a lot of that around here…pulling apart the whole plant out of curiosity for what’s edible. I find myself searching the web for ideas on using carrot tops, making a sauté of bolted bok choy, or munching on leaves of sweet potato plants. If you grow your own food, one of the many joys is not only watching it develop from seed to plate, but all the iterations of potential gourmet delights—from sprout to flower.

Blackberry petals fall away, revealing fat, dimpled berries in the making.

Lavender is a fragrant addition to recipes; use in the place of rosemary, as an additive in simple syrup, or dried in a spice rub.

Our first strawberry of the season to survive the slugs.

One of our many zucchini varieties in the trial garden has sprouted. Squash flowers are a delicacy that’s hard to find in markets but home gardeners have at the ready every morning!