Borage flowers grow on hollow stems that are covered with fine white hairs. The tiny flowers are star-like in shape and can be blue, lavender or purple in color. From the center of the flower protrudes five stamens and black anthers. When fresh both the flower and leaves offer a mild herbal cucumber flavor and aroma.
Borage leaves, buds and stems are covered in fine white hairs that can become sharp and prickly with maturity. The tiny flowers are star-shaped and can be blue, lavender or purple, and yield a delicious honey. Borage leaves are approximately 5-8 centimeters long and oval-shaped with wavy margins. They are deeply wrinkled with coarse veins that give a crunchy texture. Borage leaves are prone to developing a rusty yellow and brown color. Use only the new sage green leaves which have a striking flavor of freshly shucked oyster with an herbal cucumber finish. Borage leaves are often minced or blended to soften their prickly mouthfeel.
Borage flowers can be added to fruit and green salads or used as an edible garnish on cakes, cold soups, ice cream and delicate pastries. Try adding to the brine when making pickles. Their refreshing flavor complements light summer beverages. Add whole flowers to lemonade, white wine sangria and spritzers or freeze flowers in ice cubes to add a colorful pop to lightly hued cocktails.
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Edible flowers may be used culinarily in a variety of ways. They make colorful, striking garnishes for drinks as well as food, for everything from salads to soups and desserts.