The Prettiest Salad Ever

Photo by Keri White

These days, gardens are bursting with color, providing a visual feast. But I recently discovered that certain flowers are edible and add an intoxicating bloom and flair to a salad.

I bought a bag of summer salad greens at the local farmers market and packed inside was a special gift — a handful of orange nasturtium blossoms. I gasped in delight and asked the farmer about them. He informed me that they were packing them in each seasonal bag while they last, and also selling them separately in pint containers. Since I had never experimented with these, I opted for just the bag, but next week I shall invest in the pint.

The resulting salad was positively eye-popping. And the orange blossoms inspired some additional creativity on my part with the use of a vegetable peeler and a raw beet, which produced additional adornments that mimicked flower petals.

Aside from the decorative elements, the salad itself was pretty straightforward — greens, cucumbers, baby turnips and a mustard vinaigrette I added at the table so we could all enjoy the “wow” factor appearance of the dish. But feel free to toss any dressing you like once you present the dish.

If you prefer to dress the salad before serving, leave the nasturtiums and some of the beets out so you can strew them over the top of the salad after it is dressed to decorate.

1 bag of salad greens, or 1 head of lettuce, rinsed and torn

1 tomato, cut in bite-sized chunks

½ cucumber, peeled and sliced

4 white baby turnips, sliced

½ raw beet, peeled and shaved into thin slices with a vegetable peeler

1 small handful edible flower petals, such as nasturtiums

⅓ cup your favorite salad dressing

  1. Place the lettuce in a large, shallow bowl.
  2. Artfully arrange the tomatoes, cucumbers and baby turnips over the bed of lettuce.
  3. Strew the edible flowers and beet slices over the top of the salad.
  4. Bring the salad to the table, dazzle your guests, dress and toss the salad and serve.


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