Home > Cooking with Herbs > Cooking with Calendula or Pot Marigold

Cooking with Calendula or Pot Marigold

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 2 Apr 2020 | comments*Discuss
Cooking With Calendula Cooking With

The calendula herb is also known as pot marigold. This bright flowering herb is common in gardens and allotments and has many versatile uses both in the kitchen and garden. Its blossoms range in colour from pale yellow to lemon and golden orange and appear from early July right through to late autumn in the UK. Calendula is a native of Asia and southern and central Europe, however it is well adapted to growing in the UK climate. Calendula blossoms are edible, however the leaves are not suitable for eating.

Calendula blossoms have been eaten since ancient times and have medicinal values as well as nutritional values. They have many uses in the kitchen, from helping improve the colour of cheeses and egg yolks to brightening up green salads. They have a tangy, peppery taste, which brings a zing to salads. Calendula blossoms can also be added to soups or cream cheese to add a dash of colour and a mild peppery flavour.

Calendula flowers can be used as a substitute to saffron, and will bring about a delicate saffron colour to cooking. You can also add them to sauces, tarts, preserves, pickles, fritters and soft cheeses.

Growing and Picking Flowers for Eating

Calendula flowers are only edible if they are grown organically or only sprayed with organic pesticides such as those, which are occasionally used on organically-grown fruits and vegetables. Flowers that are bought from florists, nurseries or garden centres are commercially grown to be used as cut flowers or decoration in the garden and have often been treated with chemical fertilisers or pesticides to keep them looking at their best. Buying some organic calendula seeds and growing them organically will ensure they will not have any potential harmful side effects when you eat them.

The best time to pick your homegrown calendula flowers is in late morning, once the blooms have opened (they close at night and when it rains). Only use fresh blossoms (that have been harvested in the last two days) that are not damaged by disease, weather or insect infestations (such as aphids). Carefully remove the stems and pistils and any white inner petal tips from the bud (these can often taste bitter). Wash the flower petals thoroughly before adding them to your food.

Calendula Blossoms

Calendula blossoms have been used in cooking since ancient times. They have a tangy, peppery taste and can liven up salads and soups. They can also be used to spice up and colour a range of dishes including sauces, tarts, preserves, pickles, fritters and soft cheeses. The orange colour can be used as a substitute for saffron and may be used to improve the colour of cheese and egg yolks. The flowers should be grown organically to avoid ingesting artificial pesticides and fertiliser residues and harvested in the morning once the blooms have opened. Wash the flowers thoroughly before using them in cooking and strip away any bitter-tasting white, inner petal tips from the bud. Calendula is a fun herb to cook with and has many varied uses in the kitchen.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Someone gave me a large bag of these petals and I need to know of s way to use them in cooking Can you also make tea out of them Any help will be very HELPFUL Thanks
Dee - 2-Apr-20 @ 4:55 AM
yes, the photo shown is another type of marigold. I think it is important to investigate the true flower you wish to write about and correct post.
4waystoyummy - 17-Jul-19 @ 9:58 PM
those flowers in the picture aren't Calendula - they are the other type - french marigold aka Tagetes
rhubarb - 16-Jun-11 @ 9:19 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • SarahBeau
    Re: Growing Coriander
    I’ve not been successful growing coriander. Successful when from seed them potted them in a bigger container. Unfortunately one by one they have…
    2 September 2020
  • Hoque
    Re: Growing Coriander
    I tried growing coriander from split seeds . Germinated after 10 days . Stem is very thin and can’t stand being 2 to 3 inches . After few days…
    31 August 2020
  • GreenThumbMom
    Re: Growing Coriander
    Hi, the coriander seeds germinated quite well and the seedlings are now about 4 inches tall. However the plants now seem to have stopped…
    28 August 2020
  • Titus
    Re: Growing Mint
    I've had a mint plant on my kitchen window sill for several years now. In addition to being a lovely addition to my Sunday potatoes, it adds a pleasant…
    14 August 2020
  • Matt
    Re: Has My Rosemary Plant Died?
    Small areas of my Rosemary plants are brown & dead looking. They are in ground & in my patio area. They are quite large a bushy but…
    13 August 2020
  • Pot answer
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Hello I have been growing a bay tree in a pot (a succession of pots) for about 35 years, from about a foot high. It’s been moved from shade to…
    28 July 2020
  • Karen Mitchell
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    I'm thinking of purchasing the Bay Laurel Tree - Laurus nobilis. Can this be grown in a pot?
    10 July 2020
  • Steve
    Re: How to Cook and Recipes For Borage
    Eleven thirty a.m. on a Sunday I had a woman knock on my front door. She asked, "Do you mind if I take a few of your…
    5 July 2020
  • Eddie
    Re: Growing Fennel: Bulbed and Seed Varieties
    Hi, I recently watched a gardening programme where a lady showed that you can prolong the life of your shop…
    27 June 2020
  • Megaclear
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Hi I have a bay tree that’s 10ft away from my house the tree is approximately 20ft high will this cause a problem to the foundations Regards…
    26 June 2020