This pretty summer salad is a delightful combination of edible flowers, salad leaves, alfalfa sprouts and juicy fresh blueberries. Some large supermarkets sell packs of edible flowers. Or you can pick them from your garden – just be sure to choose those that have not been sprayed with pesticides.
Make a flowery carrot salad. Tear 1 batavia or Oak Leaf lettuce into bite-sized pieces and put into a shallow salad bowl. Add 2 carrots, cut into long thin ribbons with a swivel vegetable peeler, 2 oranges, peeled and divided into segments, and 75 g (2½ oz) blueberries. Make the dressing as in the main recipe, using orange juice instead of lemon. Drizzle it over the salad and garnish with mixed orange and yellow nasturtium flowers. * For a refreshingly lemony leaf and raspberry salad, mix 15 g (½ oz) sweet cicely leaves and a few lemon geranium leaves with 1 small Webb's Wonder or cos lettuce, torn into pieces. Scatter over 100 g (3½ oz) raspberries. For the dressing, whisk 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with the juice of 1 lemon and seasoning to taste. Garnish the salad with 30 g (1 oz) mixed chive, sweet cicely and mint or viola flowers. * Try a peppery salad with pears and wild garlic. Separate 2 Little Gem lettuces into leaves and mix with 85 g (3 oz) rocket in a salad bowl. For the dressing whisk 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with the juice of 1 lemon and 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives. Add 1 ripe red Williams pear, cored and thinly sliced, and turn to coat with the dressing, then add the pear and dressing to the salad leaves and toss gently. Garnish with 30 g (1 oz) mixed wild garlic, chive and borage flowers.
Naturally sweet blueberries are rich in vitamin C and also contain antibacterial compounds thought to be effective against some gastrointestinal disorders and urinary infections such as cystitis. * The nutritional value of petals and flower heads is very small as they are used in such tiny quantities, but you will get some essential oils and phytochemicals, particularly antioxidants, from some flowers, especially herb flowers.
Excellent source of niacin, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C. Good source of vitamin E. Useful source of folate, vitamin A.