Flowers on Mother’s Day: The move doesn’t go out of style. You should definitely treat Mom to some beautiful blooms, but there’s no reason you need limit them to a tabletop vase! Serve up your Mother’s Day flowers in the glass and on the plate, using a panoply of fresh edible blossoms.
Here are a few ways to celebrate this bountiful, blooming season, from cocktails to cupcakes.
1. Floral Ice Cubes
“Make more beautiful ice” may be low on your to-do list, but you know, we’ve all had a year? Why not do something the sole purpose of which is to elevate your mood? There’s something about seeing a luminous violet floating in a round ice cube in a cocktail or a lemonade that just does it for us. Shop our silicone trays here, and make clearer ice using these tips. (Oh, and freeze flowers into cubes in layers, placing the blooms face-down.)
2. Floral Cocktails
Think: Tiki! Waikiki chef Ed Kenney was responsible for this beautiful “Unkle’s Punch,” a pink-as-can-be rum-Campari-citrus potable garnished with an edible bloom. Flower lover beware: Every single time you make an edible or potable with a bloom, triple-check reliable sources that it is indeed edible and not poisonous. Think: nasturtiums, cherry blossoms, violets, pansies, roses, Peruvian lilies, hibiscus and their ilk. (We love this gardeners.com list!) The list of plants to avoid is long, and includes oleander and poppies, among many others.
3. Flower Cookies
Pre-pressed blossoms and their quick application to warm-from-the-oven cookies is the key to these pansy-topped shortbread cookies from The View From the Great Island. Once the blossoms have been applied to the buttery discs, a light sprinkle of granulated sugar is the only finishing touch these cookies need. Cut your prep time in half by pressing the flowers ahead; dried pressed flowers can last for weeks.
4. Flower-Topped Cakes
You could take a boxed cake mix, frost it with frosting from a tub, and put a few blooms on top of it, and folks will think you shelled out $$ at a fancy bakery. (Though it probably wouldn’t taste as good as this pansy-topped Coconut and Lime Curd Layer Cake from our Favorite Cakes cookbook!) If Mom’s preference is for something more petite, try cupcakes with edible blossoms you’ve candied yourself. (The process just requires egg white and sugar!) And, if you’re thinking flowers but more of the frosting variety, try these mini cakes that look like bouquets.
You could be serving guests fast-food hamburgers still in their wrappers for the main course: Precede it with this salad, and you’ll be golden. Mâche, spinach and chive flowers nestle alongside nasturtium blooms. A rice vinegar-ginger-garlic dressing keeps the whole plate feeling light on its feet. A little later in the season, when you can’t seem to get rid of all that zucchini, shave it raw, and dot it with lemon zest, mint, Parmesan and borage flowers. It’s so beautiful it could be hanging on the wall of a museum.
Blue borage blossoms are the unsung heroes in this Shaved Zucchini Salad with Lemon and Mint. The bright blue, star-shaped blossoms add a sweet honey-like flavor to this spectacular dish. You can use either a mandoline or a vegetable peeler to shave the zucchini. If you opt for the vegetable peeler, look for one that is serrated and designed for soft vegetables. Seek out a top-notch fruity extra-virgin olive oil to infuse this dish with a rich, distinctive flavor.
6. Pavlova Forever
Pavlova is a crunchy, delicate, sweet canvas for whatever catches your eye at the market or in your garden. (See above for our caveats!) Spring and summer berries like blueberries, strawberries, fresh currants, and the like can be just stunning on an ivory pavlova. Here’s our go-to recipe, ready for embellishing with your favorite seasonal fruits and flowers. This showstopper with fresh currants and elderflower blossoms is from one of our favorite cookbooks, but you can let the market (and the garden!) be your guide when it comes to ingredients. Ahh. Happy spring.