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