Last week I tackled Gardenias. This week, I took a look at marigolds.
The Ancient Welsh used to believe that marigolds had the ability to predict the weather. If the flower blossoms were closed, a storm was said to be approaching; however, if the blossoms were blooming, they celebrated the outlook of better weather and overall happiness. No wonder the blooms are a common addition to dishes these days...
Slightly peppery in taste and vibrant in color, these marigold petals remind me of arugula with a hint of tang and spice. Sometimes, marigolds are referred to as the poor man’s saffron for its hue and flavor. To be honest, the bright orange buds were intimidating. The last time I ate something that bright, it was mixed into water and resulted in that sugary orange drink that I used to love called Tang.
Alas, the petals are mild but still flavorful— a natural choice when looking to add some color and fun to your dishes.
I decided to create a mushroom and ginger broth with shaved carrots for sweetness and spice to play on the marigold's natural flavor. A touch of earthiness from cilantro and a squeeze of lime for some acidity and brightness bring together a warm soup for any occasion.
Marigold petals are easy to pair with savory flavors and even easier to look at… I may even throw some into my salad. Oh the possibilities!
*** When picking flowers to be eaten, make sure they were grown in a pesticide-free environment, (meaning that most florists won’t be a suitable source). Talk to people who sell flowers and even restaurants who use edible flowers, get to know your floral foods and get creative!Flowers are best eaten at their peak! Avoid wilted or unopen blossoms. And as always with new ingredients, slowly introduce them into your diet to prevent possible allergic reactions.