Edible flowers provide a striking palatte with which to decorate food. With a small garden of edible flowers you can make your canapés look like edible art.
- ½ cup (25 g) snipped fresh dill or chive leaves
- 1 lb (500 g) organic cream cheese, softened
- 2 large loaves of dense sandwich or rustic-style unsliced bread, or 2 packages melba toast
- A selection of organic edible flowers, 4 or 5 dozen: nasturtiums, borage, calendulas, pineapple sage, runner bean flowers, pansies, violas, violets, and mustard flowers
- Herb leaves: sage, parsley, mint, dill, and basil
In a mixing bowl, add the dill and 3 tablespoons of water to the cream cheese and mix until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water.
Trim the crusts off the bread and cut it into slices 1/3 inch (8 mm) thick. Cut the slices into large squares or rectangles 2½ to 3½ inches (6-8.5 cm) wide. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread—approximately 1 tablespoon per square—and arrange the squares on cookie sheets. Cover them lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to decorate.
Carefully wash the flowers and herbs and gently pat them dry on paper towels. Lay them out on damp paper towels and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, but not for more than a few hours.
Decorate each canapé square with an edible flower or two and an herb leaf or two. Re-cover the canapés lightly with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. The canapés may be made a few hours in advance, but do not prepare them any earlier, or the garnishes will wilt.
Put a paper doily on a decorative tray, place decorated squares on the tray, and serve. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.
From Rosalind Creasy