As Northern North America settles into fall, and in some cases snow (yikes!), I wanted to remind myself that on the other side of all the sweaters and hot toddies that are in my immediate future, there will be flowers again! Besides that, these edible flower garnishes are just a super illustrative and fun way to dress up a cheese/appetizer plate and feel like you've stepped onto the set of Mad Med and the 1960's!
Step 1: What You'll Need
All you need to make this magic happen is the following:
- a cutting board
- large, sharp chopping knife
- sharp paring knife
- large peeled carrots (with wide bottoms)
- large diameter turnips
- green onions (for 'stems')
- mint leaves
- goat or cream cheese (the 'glue')
- circle and small shape cookie cutters
Step 2: Slice 'em Up
Carefully cut your turnips and carrots into approximately 3/8" thick slices. You will only need to cut 1/3 of the length of the carrots, starting at the largest end. (The rest will make discs that are too small for the shaped cutters.)
Stack the slices in between wet paper towel to keep them fresh.
Step 3: Making Turnip Circles
Pick a circle cookie cutter that is just smaller than the turnip slices and cut off the skins.
Step 4: Keep Them Fresh
Prepare a bowl of ice water. This is where you'll put your cut pieces to keep them from drying out, until you're ready to assemble and serve them.
Step 5: Shape Your Veggies
Now, you'll use your paring knife and small shaped cookie cutters to turn the turnip and carrot slices into flowers and flower parts. The turnips are big enough to make whole, large flowers, while the carrots are good for small flowers and individual petals.
Also be sure to cut out a few small circles, squares, and triangles in both veggies to use as flower centers
There's no right or wrong way to make these. Have fun playing with shapes!
As you're cutting, be sure to put all your pieces in the ice water where they'll stay until you're ready to assemble the flowers.
(If you don't, they will dry out and curl as shown in the last photo in this step.)
Step 6: Stem and Leaf Prep
Next, rinse off your mint stems and green onions. Pull the outer onion layers off, leaving just the small, fresh and super green stems. Pull those off. Now remove 8-10 smaller mint leaves and put both the mint and onion in between wet paper towel to keep them looking fresh until flower assembly.
Step 7: Floral Arrangement
Pull some pieces from the water and start laying out your designs.
*Cut offs and pieces you don't end up using are perfect for making Beef Stew with Dumplings
Step 8: Flower Assembly
Once you've decided on your designs, use goat or cream cheese to "glue" the pieces together.
Step 9: Finishing Touches
Use your new flower creations, along with a few of the onion "stems" and mint "leaves", to dress up any cheese or appetizer plate!
If you give these a go, I would love to see pictures!!!