Calendula – A Golden Herb for Garden and Kitchen

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Known also as the poet’s marigold or pot marigold, calendula brightens garden beds, pots, vases and culinary creations from spring to frost {or beyond} with its sunny flowers.

The flowers smell like honey, slightly spicy and woody- reminiscent of fresh rhubarb or angelica flowers- and their flavor is pleasantly mild and vegetable-sweet. Traditionally, the golden petals were used to flavor and color broths {hence the nickname “pot marigold}, butter, cheese. The dried petals even were used as a saffron substitute because they impart a rich golden color. In my own kitchen, I use calendula in vegetable dishes, salads- particularly egg salad- custards and puddings, herb butters, baked goods, with grains and in mild-mannered soups.

For best flavor, gather the flowers at their peak bloom. Gently pull the petals from the bitter center disk and discard it. The petals can be used either whole or chopped. {Note that the petals are…

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