These days edible flowers are the must have ingredient to add colour and interest to summer drinks and menus. While it is essential to ensure that the flowers you use really are edible, in other words make sure you have correctly identified them before eating them, many garden flowers are a great addition to your kitchen repertoire.
Petals added to salad add beauty and elegance to the mix, but they can also be incorporated in other ways. A workshop at Petersham Nurseries provided a perfect lesson in using flowers in the kitchen and the piece de resistance was the floral egg pasta.
If you are already a dab hand at making your own pasta, this is a fantastic way to create a floral masterpiece for lunch and dinner parties. If you’ve not made pasta before then it would be an idea to practice making egg pasta first and then progress to adding herbs or other floral delights (edible only).
- 5 large free-range eggs
- 500g of Tipo 00 Pasta flour also known as Dopio Zero Flour
- A variety of edible flower petals
- More flour for dusting
- You will need a pasta machine or a big rolling pin and floured board.
- Make the pasta dough by placing the sifted flour into a mixing and breaking the eggs into a well made in the centre. Mix the eggs with the flour a little at a time with your fingertips (or place the mix in food processor and pulse until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs).
- Push the ‘lumps’ together into a ball of dough and knead steadily until it is soft, smooth and silky. Then wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge to rest.
- If you have a pasta machine then you can run the dough through on a wider setting several times, until it is like a thick sheet of fabric. If not tip the dough out onto a floured board, divide into smaller pieces and roll each one out until thin. Use the extra flour to stop it sticking. Keep turning the dough and folding it over, this helps to stretch the gluten in the flour.
- Once the pasta is thin enough, arrange the petals on the surface of the dough and fold over. Re-roll or run it through the pasta machine on a thinner setting until the petals are within the dough. Then it is ready to cook.
This recipe is inspired by Floral Egg Pasta made by Head Chef Damian Clisby from Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, Surrey.