How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

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Tall, strong stems for great cut flowers.

Large flower heads, avg. 3", sit atop sturdy plants. These giant marigolds are prolific producers for cuts as well as excellent garden performers. Sturdy, uniform flower heads are also useful for marigold garlands. Also known as African marigold, American marigold, and Aztec marigold.

•Edible Flowers: Use the flowers to dress up salads and desserts or cooked in egg or rice dishes. Flavor is floral with hints of citrus and spice, and slightly bitter. Remove the petals from the flower base before consuming as the base can be quite bitter.

Ht. 36–40". Avg. 10,500 seeds/oz. Packet: 50 seeds.

Growing Information

DAYS TO GERMINATION: 4-7 days at 75-80°F (24-27°C)

SOWING: Transplant (recommended) – Sow into 72-cell flat or preferred seedling container, 4-6 weeks before last frost, lightly covering seed. Harden off and transplant out after last frost. For flowering in packs, sow 8 weeks before desired bloom time. Direct seed – After last frost, sow 1/4" deep. Pinching encourages branching. NOTES: High temperatures can cause plants to stall, and temporarily decline in growth and bloom. Deadhead regularly to increase blooms.

LIGHT PREFERENCE: Sun.

PLANT HEIGHT: Varies.

PLANT SPACING: 8-18". French Marigold: 8-12". Gem Marigold: 12". African Marigold: 12-18".

HARDINESS ZONES: Annual.

HARVEST: Flowers are fully open but still have tight centers.

SOIL REQUIREMENTS: Average soil. Feed moderately. pH: 6.0-7.5 preferred.

USES: Beds, borders, mass plantings, containers, and window boxes. Edible flowers, cut flowers (tall varieties).

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Tagetes spp.

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Welcome to fennel 101! This underrated veggie deserves a place on everyone’s table. Read on to learn how to cut it, how to cook it, and more!

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Everyone goes crazy for kale, but if I had my way, fennel would be all the rage too. It’s one of the most underrated vegetables, and if you’re not already cooking with it, you absolutely should be. It has a fresh, aromatic anise flavor, and it can be eaten raw, sautéed, roasted, or even added to soups and sauces. If you’ve never worked with it before, this funky-looking veggie might be intimidating from the outside, but don’t let it scare you. Once you know how to approach it, it’s easy to work with.

What is fennel?

Fennel is a member of the carrot family, though it’s not a root vegetable. The base of its long stalks weave together to form a thick, crisp bulb that grows above ground. Above the bulb, at the tip of the stalks, it has light, feathery leaves that resemble dill. When it goes to seed, fennel also produces small yellow flowers among the leaves. Every part of it is edible, from the bulb to the flowers, and it can be eaten raw or cooked.

Though the stalks and leaves are edible, fennel recipes most often call for the bulb. When raw, it has a crisp texture similar to celery and a fresh licorice flavor. It caramelizes as it cooks, taking on a sweeter flavor and tender, melt-in-your mouth texture.

And did I mention that it has all sorts of health benefits too? It’s low in calories, but high in nutrients like dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, to name a few.

How to Cook Fennel

One of my favorite things about fennel is that its character changes depending on how you cut it. And with this vegetable, how you cut it and how you cook it go hand in hand.

If I’m craving raw fennel, I almost always thinly shave the bulb on my mandoline, removing any tough core pieces. Then, I marinate it in lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. This crisp, thinly sliced fennel is delicious on its own or in a larger salad. Dress it up with herbs, nuts, and shaved Parmesan cheese, toss it with greens and simple vinaigrette, or use it in one of these salad recipes:

Shaving fennel is also a great move if you want to sauté it. The thin slices will melt and brown in the pan, taking on a delicious caramelized flavor. Try this technique in my Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe!

If I plan to roast fennel, I slice it 1/2-inch wedges. First, I clip off the stalks so that I’m left with the white bulb. I cut it in half vertically and then cut each half into several wedges.

To roast the wedges, spread them cut-side-down on a baking sheet with a little space between each one. Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes, until the wedges are tender and caramelized around the edges.

Serve the wedges as a side dish with a squeeze of lemon or add them to a salad. You could also remove the tough core pieces and toss the roasted fennel with pasta or add it to a hearty vegetarian lasagna.

Fennel Fronds

Recipes most often call for the bulb, but don’t toss those tops! Finely mince the fronds to use as an aromatic garnish for salads, soups, pasta, and more, or save the fennel stalks and leaves to use in homemade vegetable broth. Find more ideas for using common vegetable scraps in stock in the Scrap Stock Recipe on page 106 of Love and Lemons Every Day.

More Basic Vegetable Recipes

If you loved learning how to cook fennel, try one of these basic vegetable recipes next:

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Pei Tsai Chinese cabbage

Chinese cabbage which includes pac choi (bok choy), pei tsai, Michihli, Napa, and celery cabbage is a cool-weather vegetable. Sow Chinese cabbage directly in the garden as early as 4 to 6 weeks before the last average frost date in spring. Chinese cabbage must come to harvest in the cool temperatures and shorter days of spring or autumn before temperatures rise above 75°F (24°C). Plants require from 50 to 85 days to come to harvest depending upon the variety.

Description. Chinese cabbage is a hardy biennial grown as an annual. Chinese cabbage has broad, thick, tender leaves and heavy midribs. There are several varieties of Chinese cabbage some are loosehead and some are tight headed; plants grow from 15 to 18 inches (38-45cm) tall.

Types of Chinese Cabbage

There are two types of Chinese cabbage, loosehead, similar to loose-leaf lettuce, and heading or tight head.

Loosehead Chinese cabbages include pac choi, also called bok choy, and pei tsai. Pac choi and pei tsai have open, loose heads or rosettes of usually dark green leaves with white celery-like stalks. These are heat-tolerant but will bolt if the weather turns from chilly to very warm Plant these at 2 to 3-week intervals for a continuous harvest. Loosehead types can be harvested a few stalks at a time, cut-and-come-again.

Heading types include Michihili and Napa; Michihili has a tall cylindrical or tapered head while the Napa is a short barrel-shaped head. These can be grown like cabbage, though they are mild-flavored, unlike cabbage. When these heads are trimmed they reveal compact heads. The entire head to cut at harvest time.

Yield. Grow 6 to 8 plants per household member and grow cut-and-come-again.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Chinese cabbage seedlings

Planting Chinese Cabbage

Site. Grow Chinese cabbage in full sun in cool regions and in partial shade in warm regions. Plant Chinese cabbage in well-worked, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to planting beds before planting and side dress crops with compost again at midseason.

Planting time. Chinese cabbage is a cool-weather plant that will bolt and go to seed quickly in warm weather and long days; grow Chinese cabbage in spring or autumn in temperatures ranging from 45° to 75°F (7-24°C). Sow seed 4 to 6 weeks before the average date of the last frost in spring. Sow seed directly in the garden; seedlings transplanted into the garden may be shocked into bolting to seed. In mild winter regions, plant Chinese cabbage in late summer or autumn for a late autumn harvest.

Planting and spacing. Sow seed ½ inch deep and 4 inches (10cm) apart. Thin successful seedlings from 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) apart. Space rows 18 to 30 inches (45-76cm) apart depending upon the variety.

Chinese cabbage does not transplant well. Seedlings started indoors should be started in biodegradable peat or paper pots which are easily set into the garden.

Companion plants. Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts. Do not plant with tomatoes, peppers, okra, or potatoes.

Container growing. Chinese cabbage can be grown in containers at least 8-inches (20cm) across. Plant Chinese cabbage on 10-inch (25cm) centers in larger containers. Plants are sensitive to heat so move them into the shade when the weather warms.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowersPac Choi (Bok Choy) Chinese cabbage

Chinese Cabbage Care

Water and feeding. Keep soil evenly moist so that plants grow fast and stay tender. Slow growth can result in plants going to seed.

Care. Keep plants cool when the weather warms; do not let Chinese cabbage sit in direct sun for more than 8 hours each day.

Pests. Chinese cabbage can be attacked by flea beetles, aphids, and cabbage worms. Aphids can be handpicked or hosed off. Cabbage worms can be controlled by spraying Bacillus thuringiensis.

Diseases. Chinese cabbage is susceptible to yellow virus, clubroot, and black rot. Plant disease-resistant varieties. Avoid handling plants when wet. Remove and destroy infected plants.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowersNapa Chinese cabbage How to dress up a salad with edible flowersMichihili cabbage

Harvesting and Storing Chinese Cabbage

Harvest. Cut whole heads at soil level when they are compact and firm and before seed stalks form usually 50 to 80 after sowing. Complete the harvest before the arrival of freezing weather. If the first fall frost arrives before heads form, Chinese cabbage can still be harvested for greens.

Storing and preserving. Chinese cabbage will keep in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for about 4 weeks. Chinese cabbage can be blanched and frozen for 3 to 4 months.

Chinese Cabbage Varieties to Grow

  • Pac Choi (Bok Choy): ‘Joi Choi’, ‘Black Summer’, ‘Mei Qing Choi’, ‘Li Ren Choi’, ‘Win-Win Choi’, ‘Rosie’, ‘Red Pac’, ‘Green Pac’.
  • Heading types (Michihili and Napa): ‘Minuet’, ‘Mounment’, ‘Rubicon’, ‘Bilko’, ‘Red Dragon’, ‘Tokyo Bekana’.

Common name. Chinese cabbage, white cabbage, flowering cabbage, celery cabbage, pakchoi, Michihli, Napa cabbage

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

The thing we love (and look for) in a chicken dinner recipe is that it is tasty without being hard to make. Whether you’re searching for the perfect chicken noodle soup recipe, a standout chicken casserole recipe, or a simple one pot meal or sheet pan dinner that minimizes your clean up time, this handy chicken gallery has just what you’re looking for. With so many different options to choose from, your family won’t have to eat the same thing for months on end, though they may be begging for seconds!

Break out this casserole bake the next time you want to give your leftover rotisserie chicken a cheesy, spicy upgrade.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

This upgrade to your standard chicken soup is a country classic— and for good reason.

This elegant dish is good enough to impress on date night, easy enough to make on a weeknight, and tasty enough the family might lick their plates.

A destination event in the South of France brought these two families together when travel became safe again.

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Sorhaya was working part-time in a boutique in Canada in 2011 when a customer caught her attention and the two began chatting. Though Duc left without getting her number, he returned to the store several times over the next few days, trying to reconnect, but missing her each time. “He eventually came back to the store to ask me out, I said yes, and we went on a date,” says Sorhaya. Duc moved from Belgium to Canada six months later, and the two became a couple.

In June 2018, Duc was preparing to move to the United States for work while Sorhaya planned to stay in Canada. “Before he left, he made me a promise that he would come back in two years and we would get married,” says Sorhaya. “I know some people would’ve thought that getting engaged right before your significant other is moving to another country is risky, but we both knew our relationship was strong enough to survive a long-distance relationship—and thankfully, we were right.”

When they began putting their wedding plans in place, Sorhaya had a very short list of locations: “I’ve always wanted to get married in the South of France,” she says, “and with my husband being Belgian with the majority of his family living in Paris, it was the perfect location for us.” The couple chose Château Saint Georges on the French Riviera in Grasse, France, for a destination wedding for 60 guests in 2020. “With the different travel restrictions, it became impossible to have our wedding held as planned,” says the bride. They postponed it until August 14, 2021, when the couple and their guests could travel after getting vaccinated.

The lavish décor at the château inspired the couple’s color palette and overall wedding aesthetic. “I wanted something classic, elegant, and romantic, but mostly personalized,” says Sorhaya. The pair combined elements and traditions from both their nationalities, welcomed guests with custom baskets, and made sure the DJ played music all their loved ones could enjoy. “Make sure the wedding really represents what you and your future spouse have as a vision for your big day,” says Sorhaya. “A wedding goes by so fast and the last thing you want is to have regrets because you didn’t stick to what you wanted.”

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Make dazzling homemade cupcakes for any occasion with our delicious recipes and simple decorating tips. Plus, get our best ever cake recipes!

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

You probably already have all the ingredients you need for these classy cupcakes, which are a lovely addition to a Mother’s Day tea party.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

These breathtaking flower-inspired cupcakes look good and taste even better.

Get the recipe at The Bearfoot Baker.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Bring the campfire inside with these toasted s’mores cupcakes.

Get the recipe at Baking Mischief.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Use decorative chocolate to put something sweet on top of your cupcakes.

Get the recipe at Natasha’s Kitchen.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Pipe these adorable daisies on your cupcakes—perfect for spring!

Get the recipe at I Am Baker.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

You can make these sweet and simple cupcakes up to two days ahead—just store in an airtight container in the fridge!

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

You’ll never eat a churro the same way again after tasting this sweet dessert mashup.

Get the recipe at The Domestic Rebel.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

These adorable cupcakes would blend right in among your garden’s colorful blooms. Bake them in mini terracotta pots then add Oreo crumble topping and paper flower toothpicks for decoration.

Get the recipe at This Silly Girl’s Life.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

The only thing better than pineapple upside down cake? Pineapple upside down cupcakes!

Get the recipe at Cooking Classy.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

An easy-to-make cupcake that combines our love of dessert and farm animals? Sign us up!

Get the recipe at Wine and Glue.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

It doesn’t get any cuter than these sweet cupcakes that are baked directly inside lemon rinds.

Get the recipe at Brit + Co.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

The “cherries” on these cupcakes are actually red M&Ms. Use a small piping tool to create stripes across the top and then add a thicker outline to resemble crust.

Get the recipe at Your Cup of Cake.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

The key to making these too-cute treats is arranging pretzel sticks, candy pieces, and mini marshmallows to look like a tiny campfire.

Get the recipe at Betty Crocker.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

To enjoy this delicious summer fruit in colorful dessert form, add red and green food coloring to your recipe and mix chocolate chip “seeds” into the batter.

Get the recipe at Cincy Shopper.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

For classic and simple cupcakes, mix Basic Vanilla Cake batter and divide among two lined 24-cup mini-muffin pans. Bake at 400 degrees F about 10 minutes. Cool and ice with Fluffy Butter Frosting. Top with red and blue sprinkles and mini American flags if you’re feeling patriotic, or mix up the toppings to suit any season.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Dress up ordinary cupcakes with pretty frosting dots, sparkling sugar, and fondant flourishes. Add food coloring to white frosting to get your desired colors, then get creative with different-size pastry tips. For quick cupcake toppers, get precolored fondant, roll into thin sheets on parchment paper, and create shapes with cookie cutters or a knife.

How to dress up a salad with edible flowers

Store-bought frosting can save time, but homemade icing always takes the cake. Try Maple-Butter Frosting for our maple cupcakes.

Kitchen Tip: Freezing cupcakes is a great way to have them at a moment’s notice. Bake a batch and cool completely. Place on a tray, wrap well with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to three months. Unwrap and thaw completely before icing.