Please Eat the Daisies! – Edible Flower Recipes from Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book

Make a filling of two-thirds nasturtium blossoms, one third leaves, lay on buttered bread, with buttered bread on top, sandwich style…

An Excerpt from Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book: How to Cook and Use Rarer Vegetables and Herbs, by the Proprietors of Vaughan’s Seed Store (1919)


The most beautiful salad ever imagined is rarely seen upon our tables, although the principal material for its concoction may be grown in the tiniest yard. Any one who has tried growing nasturtiums must admit that they almost take care of themselves, and if the ground is enriched but a little their growth and yield of blossom is astonishingly abundant. It is these same beautiful blossoms that are used in salad, and, as if nature had surmised that their beauty should serve the very practical end of supplying the salad bowl, the more one plucks these growing flowers, the greater number will a small plant yield. The pleasant, pungent flavor of these blossoms would recommend them, aside from their beauty, and when they are shaken out of ice-cold water with some bits of heart lettuce, they, too, become crisp in their way. One of the prettiest ways of arranging a nasturtium salad is to partly fill the bowl with the center of a head of lettuce pulled apart and the blossoms plentifully scattered throughout. Prof. Blot, that prince of saladmakers, recommends the use of the blossoms and petals (not the leaves) of roses, pinks, sage, lady’s slipper, marshmallow and periwinkle, as well as the nasturtium, for decorating the ordinary lettuce salad, and reminds his readers that roses and pinks may be had at all seasons of the year. In summer the lovely pink marshmallow is to be found wild in the country places near salt water; so abundant are these flowers in the marshes (hence the name) and so large are the petals that there need be no fear of robbing the flower vases to fill the salad bowl. These salads should be dressed at the table by the mistress, as, of course, a little wilting is sure to follow if the seasoning has been applied for any length of time. A French dressing is the best, although a mayonnaise may be used if preferred. Opinions differ greatly as regards the proportions of the former, but to quote Blot again, the proper ones are two of oil to one of vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. If the eye is not trained to measure pepper and salt and the hostess is timid about dressing a salad, let her have measured in a pretty cut-glass sprinkler a teaspoon of salt and half of pepper mixed, for every two of oil. For a small salad the two of oil and one of vinegar will be sufficient; measure the saltspoon even full of oil, sprinkle this over the salad, then half the salt and pepper; toss all lightly with the spoon and fork, then add the other spoonful of oil, the vinegar and the remainder of the salt and pepper; toss well and serve. How simple, and yet there are women who never have done the graceful thing of dressing lettuce at the table.

Potatoes and tomatoes in alternate layers may take the place of lettuce. Just before serving toss all together.



Make a filling of two-thirds nasturtium blossoms, one third leaves, lay on buttered bread, with buttered bread on top, sandwich style.



Put a layer of rose leaves in a jar and sprinkle sugar over them, add layers sprinkled with sugar as the leaves are gathered until the jar is full. They will turn dark brown and will keep for two or three years. Used in small quantities they add a delightful flavor to fruit cake and mince pies.



In making sachet powders one general direction must be borne in mind—each ingredient must be powdered before mixing. Potpourri should be made before the season of outdoor flowers passes. Pluck the most fragrant flowers in your garden, passing by all withered blossoms. Pick the flowers apart, placing the petals on plates and setting them where the sun can shine upon them. Let the petals thus continue to dry in the sun for several days. Each flower may be made into potpourri by itself, or the different flowers may be mixed in any variety and proportion that pleases the maker. Flowers which have little or no scent should be left out. When the leaves are well dried sprinkle them with table salt. Do not omit this, as it is important. The right proportion is about two ounces of the salt to each pound of leaves. If also two ounces of powdered orris root is added and well mixed in with the dried petals the fragrance and permanence are improved. Now the potpourri is ready to put in the jars that are sold for that purpose.



Crush three pounds of violets to a pulp; in the meantime boil four pounds of sugar, take out some, blow through it, and if little flakes of sugar fly from it, it is done. Add the flowers, stir them together; add two pounds of apple marmalade, and when it has boiled up a few times, put the marmalade into jars.


These recipes are excerpted from Vaughan’s Vegetable Cook Book: How to Cook and Use Rarer Vegetables and Herbs, by the Proprietors of Vaughan’s Seed Store (1919). Learn more at

An early Twentieth Century publication of New York and Chicago’s Vaughan Seed Store, VAUGHAN’S VEGETABLE COOK BOOK: HOW TO COOK AND USE RARER VEGETABLES AND HERBS offers a wide range of delectable recipes drawn from the Chicago Herald-Record Newspaper, popular cook books of the era including “The Cook’s Own Book,” “The Household” and “Practical Housekeeping,” and a variety of traditional French and German sources. This Better Days Books quality reprint edition is taken from the Third Printing of this popular title (1919), and reproduces the original cover in all its plain but timeless charm – including the original price of just 35 cents!


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