There's nothing like Mother Nature's fall display. Golds, oranges and deep reds are abundant and people will trek far from home to enjoy the colors in all their splendor. But you don't have to head into the woods to enjoy the fall. Many plants continue to bloom into the fall and some of them are edible. Bring those brilliant colors inside and serve them as part of a delicious fall meal.
Nasturtium range in color from yellow to orange to deep red. They bloom abundantly throughout the summer and into the fall. With a flavor similar to a radish, they make a wonderful accompaniment to a fall salad that is both delicious and eye-catching. For a special treat, make a pizza using your fall harvest and scatter a few nasturtium over the top before serving.
Marigolds come in colors similar to those of nasturtium. Each blossom contains multiple petals that can be separated from the flower head and scattered over a salad or into a light pasta dish just before serving. Their flavor is both citrusy and herbal, which also makes them a wonderful vinaigrette ingredient.
Calendula blossoms come in a buttery yellow hue and can be used in a similar fashion to marigold. Separate the tiny petals from the flower head and scatter them over salads for a gorgeous display.
Roses come in a variety of colors and bloom right into the fall. Their petals have a delicate flavor that perfectly complements light desserts. One thing to keep in mind when using rose petals in cooking is that the darker the petal, the stronger the flavor.
Pansies also come in a variety of colors with bright yellow centers. They have a wintergreen flavor and are often served with desserts. Dot a frosted cake with a design made of pansies or candy the petals by covering them with simple syrup and allowing the glaze to dry.
The explosion of zucchini and summer squash in your garden may finally be starting to slow, but you'll still get the occasional blossom. Female blossoms make delicious appetizers when stuffed with cheese, dredged in a light batter and pan-fried.
Most of these flowers are easy to grow in your yard; however, if you don't have a green thumb, call your local florist, like those at Aladdin's Florist & Wedding Chapel, or grocer and ask about edible flowers. Be sure that the flowers were grown for culinary use and are organic. A florist might give you a different rose to display than she would to eat. Enjoy fall in the kitchen!