Flower food

flower-food
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Dishes decorated with edible flowers look gorgeous and impart a subtle flavour.

Lavender pannacotta cups with easy chocolate sauce
The delicate lavender flavour makes this pannacotta extra special. Cook and serve the desserts in small cups so you don’t have to worry about them breaking as you unmould them. For a less rich result you can use yoghurt rather than cream to make the pannacotta.

Makes: 6-8
Preparation time: 15-20 min
Cooking time: 5 min
Setting time: 2-3 hours or overnight

Lavander Pannacotta Cups

Pannacotta

  • 250 ml milk
  • 60 ml lavender flowers
  • 125 ml sugar
  • 10 ml gelatine, sponged in 20 ml cold water
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 250 ml Greek yoghurt or cream
  • Extra lavender flowers to garnish

Chocolate Sauce

  • 250 ml cream
  • 100 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Pannacotta

  1. Microwave the milk and 60 ml lavender flowers for 1 minute or until the milk is just below boiling point. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the lavender flavour to infuse the milk. Strain the milk and discard the flowers.
  2. Stir the sugar into the milk and microwave for another 1 minute to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Microwave the sponged gelatine for 30 seconds or until melted, taking care not to let it come to the boil. Add some of the milk mixture to the gelatine then stir into the remaining milk mixture.
  4. Add the lemon zest and yoghurt.
  5. Pour the mixture into cups and chill until set.

Chocolate Sauce

  1. Microwave the cream for 2 minutes or until hot. Add the chocolate and stir until dissolved. Microwave for another 1 minute if necessary to dissolve the chocolate.
  2. Garnish the pannacotta cups with extra lavender flowers and serve with the chocolate sauce.

Nasturtium salad Niçoise
This pretty salad makes a delicious light meal or starter.

Serves: 4 as a starter
Preparation time: 10 min.

Nasturtium salad Niçoise

Salad

  • 100 g mixed lettuce or watercress
  • 6 baby asparagus, blanched
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 60 ml long-stem capers
  • Nasturtium flowers and leaves, rinsed

Dressing

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 10 ml Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salad: Arrange the ingredients on a platter or individual side plates.
Dressing: Whisk together the ingredients and drizzle over the salad. Serve immediately.


Strawberry and pansy soup

Keep frozen yoghurt, sorbet and berries on hand in the freezer and use fresh fruit to rustle up this soup in a flash.

Makes a delicious starter or dessert.

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 10 min

Strawberry and pansy soup

Ingredients

  • 400 g frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 250 ml readymade fruit sorbet of your choice
  • 2 nectarines, stoned and cut into pieces
  • 250 ml sparkling apple juice
  • 2 ml balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 ml frozen yoghurt
  • Pansies
  1. Blitz together the strawberries, fruit sorbet, nectarines, apple juice and vinegar in a food processor to form a smooth purée. Season with salt and pepper and spoon into individual bowls.
  2. Spoon scoops of frozen yoghurt into each bowl and float the pansies on top.

Tip Spoon the soup into small café glasses and serve as a palate cleanser between courses.

© Gallo Images

 

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