There was earlier confusion about whether calendula is an edible herb. I called Cathy Wilkinson Barash, author of Edible Flowers (Fulcrum, $29.95) and Edible Flowers-Drinks & Desserts (Fulcrum, $16.95). Because she has calendula flowers on the cover of her first book, I asked how sure she is that this herb is edible. She explained that Dr. James Duke, Ph.D., and one of the foremost herbal authorities, had thoroughly reviewed and approved all of the herbs and flowers in her books. That's good enough for me. I rely on his The Green Pharmacy (Rodale Press, 1997) as a reliable reference.
Cathy calls calendula, "a poor person's saffron," and uses it in cakes, potato and chicken dishes, as well as "saffron" rice dishes. Recipes will follow.