You can EAT marigold flowers? Yes! 5 recipes featuring calendula petals.
Because the Marigold, or Calendula, is the birth flower of the month, we thought it would be fun to try out a few recipes featuring their gorgeous orange petals. Not only are the slightly spicy petals colourful in a salad or as a garnish, they are also highly prized for their own properties.
The orange petals have been used as a substitute for expensive saffron for many centuries, and particularly during the Middle Ages. (The petals were also used to dye fabrics, but that's another story...)
They have been used for centuries as an ingredient in both savoury and sweet cooking. As a garnish on biscuits, or as a colouring in butter or cheeses. (So why not incorporate them into nut butters and cheeses, we are thinking?) The common name "pot marigold" comes from the German inclusion of the orange petals into stews and pot casseroles to inject some colour.
Used in herbal tea mixtures, the petals are said to have been used since Ancient times as a medicinal remedy for stomach cramps, digestion, period pain, and acne. While we are not suggesting they do or don't work for any of these things, Marigold petals do contain high levels of anti-oxidants.
Marigold leaves are also edible, but not used as much as the flowers. (The leaves are quite spicy, so need to be balanced out in the flavours of the other ingredients.) Try garnishing a salad with some of the yellow or orange petals to bring out the deep green colours of salad leaves. The petals also look very pretty garnishing a drink.
Click through the gallery bellow for more ideas for culinary uses of these charming flowers.
Other posts in our Birthflower of the Month series....