Root to flower eating is sweeping the menus of Britain as chefs are using the whole plant instead of throwing away parts of it. Now diners can enjoy carrot tops, beetroot stems, cauliflower leaves and cucumber flowers.
Vernon Mascarenhas, a vegetable wholesaler from Nature's Choice at New Covent Garden Market, said that dainty cucumber flowers are perfect for garnishing sushi and salads. He told The Telegraph: "Cucumber flowers are used as a garnish, they're very pretty. I first discovered these in our glass house when the farmer was basically thinning out the crop. So he was just picking these cucumbers with small flowers and dropping them on the floor as waste. Most plants are all edible. What we usually do is take the middle part of it and waste the rest.”
"The classic is a cauliflower. What we as a company have started doing is harvesting the whole cauliflower, then restaurants are using the whole outer leaf to cook with. Then you get at least twice as much bulk, perhaps even three times as much. You can use the leaves like you use kale, it's roasted, can be put through pasta and can be used to bulk out a cauliflower puree."