How to Garnish Vegetables With Flowers

Overview

The deep green of spinach, the bright orange of carrots and the sunshine yellow of summer squash are all beautiful on their own. Add to that beauty by garnishing the serving plate and veggies with flowers. When buying flowers from the grocery store check the label to make sure they are edible or are grown organically. Edible flowers are found in the produce section rather than the floral department.

Contrast Colors

Step 1

Wash all flowers by immersing in water, rinsing well and repeating the process. Pat dry.

Step 2

Choose flowers that contrast with the color of the vegetable. Green veggies are easy, as any color goes with green. Yellow veggies like squash, yellow beans and pear tomatoes look good with red or orange flowers such as roses or marigolds. Orange and red vegetables, such as peppers, beets, carrots and tomatoes are festive with purple, white and blue flowers. Try pansies, snapdragons or geraniums.

Step 3

Cook the vegetables. Arrange on a plate or in a bowl. Flowers may be scattered over the vegetables or arranged in a pattern.

Crudités Bouquets

Step 1

Clean green or green-skinned vegetables such as cucumbers, string beans, celery, snow peas and asparagus. Blanche snow peas, string beans and asparagus by dropping in boiling water for 60 seconds and then in a bowl full of water and ice cubes. Pat dry.

Step 2

Cut veggies into 1/2-inch thick strips. Arrange the veggies in bundles with one end close together and the other end with the veggie strips spread out a bit to resemble the stems of a bouquet.

Step 3

Place flowers on the tips of the veggies at the spread out end to resemble a bouquet.

Step 4

Put a bowl of dip in the center of the plate and garnish with a few of the flowers used in the bouquets.

Salads

Step 1

Select large leaves of red oak leaf lettuce, butter crunch and spinach. Wash thoroughly and pat dry.

Step 2

Arrange the leaves on a plate with the stem ends pointed towards the center of the plate. Overlap the leaves slightly, bigger leaves on the bottom and toward the outside rim of the plate, smaller leaves toward the center and on top. Vary the colors of the lettuces.

Step 3

Rinse the flowers to freshen them and remove any insects. Pat dry. Flowers that compliment salads are nasturtiums in yellows and oranges, pansies in deep purple and chive blossoms in white and purple.

Step 4

Arrange the flowers in the center of the plate in a small bouquet on top of the lettuce. Drizzle salad dressing over the lettuces and flowers. A lemon, basil, honey mustard dressing goes well with crisp greens and the flowers.

Summer Vegetable Medley

Step 1

Wash the veggies. Leave the skin on. A nice selection of summer vegetables is yellow summer squash, zucchini, string beans, cherry tomatoes and red peppers. Cut the veggies in chunks 1 inch-by-1 inch. Leave the tomatoes whole. Steam, saute or microwave until the veggies are softened but still crisp.

Step 2

Arrange cooked vegetables by color on a plate either in wedges or concentric circles. In the center of the plate, place a washed calendula flower, yellow rose or hibiscus flower. Squash flowers may be used as well.

Step 3

Place petals of the same flower that's in the center around the rim of the plate. Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and a spritz of lemon juice.

Tips and Warnings

  • Choose edible flowers that have not been sprayed with insecticides. Some flowers are poisonous or will lead to an upset tummy. Make sure the flowers you choose are edible.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetables
  • Flowers
  • Knife
  • Cooking utensils

References

  • Colorado State: Edible Flowers
  • "The Country Garden"; Charlie Ryrie; 2003

Who Can Help

  • Fine Dining: Garnishes
Keywords: flower garnishes, garnishing veggies with flowers, edible flowers with vegetables

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.