Edible Flowers

Roger Fisher's garden isn't large, but in scope it is enormous. Hand-dug, the 20 x 25 foot parcel of dark, organic earth supports a variety of herbs and edible flowers used for far more than making his carefully concocted dishes look beautiful. Roger's flowers also taste good. "Squash blossoms are very interesting dipped in a light tempura batter and deep-fried until crisp. Daylily blossoms can be stuffed with any number of creamy Ūllings, such as smoked tomato and cream cheese or a Boursin mixture," advised Roger. "The flowers of pungent herbs like oregano and mint have a more delicate flavor than the leaves and add an ethereal quality to a dish. And any green salad can be dressed up simply by adding some radishy nasturtium blossoms or lemony bergamot petals."

Roger has lived in the Centre Region since 1967, when he came to Penn State from Lower Burrell near New Kensington outside of Pittsburgh to study architecture. "When I Ūrst came to town, there were only a few hotels and several family-style restaurants," he recalled. "American food dominated. Today there is a lot of choice in the area for inventive cuisine, including new, small places with Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican menus. Our population has become diverse, and demand for foods native to other countries has increased."

After working in many area restaurants and hotels, in 1988 Roger and then partner Remy Du Pasquier opened The Governor's Table in Bellefonte and operated the restaurant until 1993, when both moved on to other ventures. During the heyday of the enterprise, Roger found that he couldn't get the herbs he needed locally. With the help of his wife, Mary, a former agriculture student at Penn State, he started to grow his own. His garden is abundant with a wide variety of culinary herbs including nine varieties of thyme, Ūve types of rosemary, three lavenders, and seven types of basil. The following recipes make use of his prodigious herbal bounty.


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