Garden-Inspired Summer Recipes

The season's most interesting dishes feature fresh flowers and herbs. From marigold cupcakes to lavender lamb chops, these ideas are fresh and fun to make.

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Strawberry Lavender Ice Cream
Strawberry Lavender Ice Cream

    A ripple of strawberry jam swirls through this delicately-flavored ice cream. For easy handling of fresh lavender, grasp the stems in one hand and strip the flowers with the forefinger and thumb of the other hand.

Rose Petal Ice Cream

    Pretty rose petals add a unique, subtle flavor to ice cream and a dreamy appeal that's perfect for outdoor gatherings. Remember: Never use pesticides on any plant you plan to eat. All roses are edible, with the flavor more pronounced in darker varieties. Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals.

Cafe Anise Ice Cream

    This 7-ingredient ice cream begins with rich vanilla custard that's infused with anise leaves and liqueur. Both the leaves and tiny blooms of anise hyssop have a strong anise flavor. Remove each tiny flower from its calyx for a delicate taste. Strip the whole florets from the stem for a larger yield of flowers and a stronger flavor.

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream

    Peppermint adds a refreshing twist to decadent chocolate ice cream, making it an ideal dessert for warm summer evenings.

Tarragon Ice

    Garden-fresh tarragon brightens lemon ice -- and adds a pretty, party-worthy twist that's just right for a summer get-together.

Fresh Tarragon Yogurt Cheese

    Yogurt cheese makes dips rich, creamy, and delicious -- and it's a great topper for grilled lamb. Fresh tarragon brightens this recipe.

Tarragon Vinegar

    Add a fresh twist to summer salads with this tarragon-infused white wine vinegar. Prep takes just 15 minutes.

Tarragon Custard

    Serve this savory custard on crisp greens for a delicious and different starter course.

Tarragon Syrup

    Try this sweet syrup as an ice cream topping, or as flavoring for sparkling water.

Flower-Power Mini Cupcakes

    For a fresh spin on classic vanilla cupcakes, stir snipped Signet marigold leaves and petals into a white cake mix -- the flowers add a lively citrus flavor.

Marigold Vinaigrette

    Combine Signet marigold petals with oil and vinegar for a light vinaigrette that's just right for a crisp green salad.

Petal Tea Sandwiches

    A cream cheese spread flavored with Signet petals and chives gives these veggie finger sandwiches irresistible flavor.

Marigold Sipper

    This fizzy orange-flavored drink features Signet marigold sprigs. Serve it at a bridal shower or garden party.

Mint Ice Cream

    Mint adds garden freshness to creamy homemade vanilla ice cream. Add a few grains of salt to the cream mixture before freezing -- it enhances the ice cream?s sweetness.

Minted Fruit Compote

    Fresh mint brightens up this fruit bowl that's ideal as a brunch side dish or light summer dessert.

Minted Strawberries with White Wine

    This refreshing cocktail combines strawberries, mint, and white wine. For a nonalcoholic variation, use white grape juice instead of wine and reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons.

Tomato and Mint Salad

    For this simple salad, toss together heirloom tomatoes, herb-flavored vinaigrette, tangy feta cheese, and fresh cracked black pepper.

Lemon Verbena Tisane

    This tisane -- an infusion of leaves or flowers -- has a light lemon and mint flavor. Use it as a simple salad dressing.

Lemon Verbena Cookies

    Dried lemon verbena leaves give these crisp cookies a fresh taste. Serve them with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Soaked Cherries with Lavender

    Serve this warm lavender-infused cherry topping on slices of crusty French bread.

Lavender Shortbread Bites

    This delicious recipe puts a summer spin on classic shortbread cookies.

Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops with Lavender

    A coating of dried lavender, Italian seasoning, pepper, and sea salt makes these grilled lamb chops sing.

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