Marigold

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Dried Marigold Flowers

Marigold petals comes from ornamental marigold, Calendula officinalis. Marigold is originally native to southern Europe, but is naturalised throughout the temperate more notherly regions as well. Marigold leaves are oblong-lanceolate and grow 5-17cm in length, and are hairy on both sides.

Marigold flowers are yellow and 4-7cm in diameter and comprise a ring of ray florets. Marigold petals are delicately floral, with a peppery bitterness. Fresh marigold petals can be used in salads or to add a dash of colour via a garnish to dishes, especially vegetables.

Marigold petals are wonderful, bright orange petals and are edible herbs that can be used in a myriad of ways to add a dash of brightness to your food. From scattering over salads, rice dishes, quinoa and couscous to a garnish on a whole host of other dishes. Do not cook them as you will lose the intensity of the colour.

In Georgia, they are called Imeretian saffron. Marigold is key to Georgian cooking, used in their seasoning mixes with chillies, garlic and walnuts.

Further reading

  • McVicar, J. (1999, republished 2006) Jekka's Complete Herb Book, Silverdale Books. ISBN 9781845093709.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN 9781465435989.