Let’s Eat Flowers!

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An e-mail arrived from Chloe, our beloved neighbor and resident gardener: “Hi Adam, Sometime this week when you step outside, please see the purple sage blossoms by your little herb garden. Pick a couple and eat them. They have a lovely flavor. Chloe.”

I have to confess: I didn’t follow these instructions because despite what you may have heard about me, I’m not a big flower eater. Then, a few days later, I ran into Chloe in the garden and she led me over to the flowering sage and encouraged me, once again, to eat a sage blossom, this time in person. How could I say “no”?

Here’s the flowering sage:

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And the big surprise is that the flowers pack a lot of flavor. You bite in and there’s a sudden burst of sweetness and sage. “Wow,” I said as Chloe watched me. “See,” she said. “I told you.”

“You also have nasturtiums,” she said, pointing to the pretty flowers on the border of the herb garden.

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“You should pick them and eat them too,” she said, “they have terrific flavor.”

It was at that moment that a vision came to me. What if I make that creamless cauliflower soup Eliza was telling me about in the comments, chill it, and then have my dinner guests pick flowers to put on top?

The vision stalled a bit when I considered the fact that Canyon and Stella, the dogs who live upstairs, may have peed on these flowers. So instead of having my guests pick them, I picked them myself, washed them carefully in cold water (by dipping them in a bowl of it) and patted them dry with paper towels.

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When dinner came around, I decided to keep the flower portion of the meal interactive. I ladled the chilled cauliflower soup into bowls–the perfect white canvas–drizzling some olive oil on top. I inserted a nasturtium into the center of each bowl and presented them to my guests. Then I gave everyone a branch of sage blossoms and had them decorate their own bowls. Look how fun!

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And everyone’s bowl came out looking so pretty and so different:

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The nasturtiums had a peppery flavor that played nicely off the soup and also the sweet sage blossoms. Mostly, though, the flowers offered great visual appeal. I may not have been a flower eater before Chloe had me eat a flower in her garden, but now I’m ready to sign on the dotted line: I like eating flowers.

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