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Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning television host, best-selling cookbook author, and restaurateur. She has held true to her Italian roots and culture, which she proudly and warmly invites her fans to experience.
 
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Sausage and Peppers
You may be surprised to see that there is no st...
 
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Behind the scenes in Lidia's Kitchen

 
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Edible Flowers
Chefs must be careful that all ingredients used in cooking are safe for their guests; often times when...
 
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Milano
So excited as I begin filming another season of Junior MasterChef Italia over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more info this...
 
Lidia in Friuli
Lidia is heading to Friuli to spend some quality time with family and friends."  ...
 
Sailing the Adriatic
Each summer, Lidia joins a small group of friends for a sailing trip and a week of swimming, relaxation and of course delicious...
 
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Food Books and Dvds Tableware

Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking
Lidia brings viewers on a road trip into the heart of Italian-American cooking.
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LIDIA'S
Enjoy Lidia's pastas and sauces!
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Lidia's Stoneware Collection

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June 21, 2014
Edible Flowers

Chefs must be careful that all ingredients used in cooking are safe for their guests; often times when a chef decides to use edible flowers as garnish, they are returned to the kitchen uneaten because patrons are unsure if they can really eat the violets surrounding the salad, for example. Think of the amount of vegetation we categorize as a vegetable when it’s really a flower, such as artichokes. Violets can be found in savory dishes as well as desserts, where they are often candied. The flowers of herbs, such as basil, will lend a similar flavor as the leaves. However, in cooking with flowers or including edible flowers in our food, we must pair carefully as not to overpower the delicate flavor of the flower. Eating flowers is a long standing practice that dates back to Roman times, when it was also popular in the East. It’s important that you identify the flower you want to use as definitely being an edible flower. The best scenario would be if you grew these flowers on your own without the use of chemicals or pesticides in the soil. For maximum flavor, the flowers should be hand-picked early in the morning at their peak of fullness and used a quickly as possible. You should introduce edible flowers to your diet slowly to check for any allergic reactions and avoid eating the pistils or anthers as they may be a bit bitter. Always rinse the flowers before use and store in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator before use. Some fresh flowers can also be preserved in oil.