Good enough to eat: Bachelor buttons, nasturtiums and calendulas

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The fiery orange and red nasturtium flower is sweet with a peppery finish, while the gold- and apricot-colored calendulas and majestic royal blue bachelor’s buttons have milder flavors.

With the vast array of produce now up for grabs at farmers markets in Southern California, shoppers will no doubt be filling up bags with all the heavy hitters: corn from Tamai’s, eggplant from Peacock’s, melons from Munak and Weiser’s, peaches from Regier’s, tomatoes from Carpenter’s. Pono Burger Chef Makani Carzino is also making a pitch for less-familiar but equally beguiling flora: bachelor button, nasturtium and calendula flowers. Pick some up with a bag of sweet baby lettuce at the Harry’s Berries stand.

Chef Makani uses the flowers and greens in her guacamole, which has the Japanese dipping sauce ponzu in it and is served with wonton chips. The crunch of the chips and the bright peppery notes of the flowers make each mouthful, in Makani’s words, “a sexy little bite.” Try it at your Fourth of July picnic or at Pono Burger in Santa Monica and in Venice. Another restaurant location will be open in West Hollywood soon.

Ponzu Asian guacamole with wonton chips (Photo courtesy of Pono Burger)
Ponzu Asian Guacamole with wonton chips (Photo courtesy of Pono Burger)