A sure sign of spring is a yard covered in bright and cheerful sweet violets! We have loads of them and have been out picking batches for about two weeks. They're not only edible but medicinal too.
They can be eaten raw and have a subtle spicy or peppery flavor. I'd say it's on the spectrum of field greens like arugula. I don't think I'd eat a bowl of them, but they do make for a pretty salad topper.
We took our first harvest and I made it into a syrup, which I've taken a couple times in the past week. It has expectorant qualities and is good for coughs and colds. To make, I used about 2 ounces (which is a huge bowl) and soaked them in hot water overnight. All of the pretty purple gets pulled out the petals and into the water. I then strain it and add sugar, over the slightest bit of heat to create the syrup. The end result is a dark violet, almost black syrup that I take a spoonful of here and there. Something with that much sugar should keep for a long time and I'm storing it in the fridge too.
So if you live in part of the country where these beauties grow, pick some!