Did you know that June is National Rose Month? While this might be conjuring up thoughts of rose petals delicately strewn across silk pillowcases and trails of petals leading to a perfectly clean kitchen (what? you can’t say the thought of a clean house isn’t romantic), that’s not exactly what we were thinking.
Actually, we were thinking of what we here at Basket typically do think of: food. So, we asked ourselves, are rose petals edible? And if so, what can we do with them? Boy oh boy, did the Internet deliver. So, strap in and get ready to discover how you can celebrate Rose Month with the best romance of them all – food!
So, I Can Actually Eat These?
Yes, rose petals are 100% edible! The rose is actually in the same plant family as strawberries and apples. Meaning, if you have a jam or a cake you typically make with strawberries, in essence you could switch out your traditional berries for rose petals. They can be included in meat dishes, in salads, in pastries, and infused into beverages.
When preparing rose petals, you’ll want to clip off the white part at the bottom of each petal with a pair of scissors. While these are edible, they have a similar taste to the white part of a not-fully ripened strawberry: slightly bitter. Wrinkled or damaged petals can be discarded as well. The more fragrant the rose, the better. The more aromatic a rose is, the more color and sweetness it can add to a dish. And, don’t worry: the natural floral flavor is far from perfume-y.
Rose Petals in the Kitchen
Not only are rose petals edible, but they’re actually very common in other areas of the world. While the West might be a little late to the party, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines have utilized the sweet, fragrant flavoring of rose petals for centuries. In fact, a stroll to the super market in India will reveal a plethora of rose petal cooking ingredients, including rose oil, rose water, dried petals, and even candied petals.
Indian cuisine commonly uses these rose products to create preserves and garnishes. Persian cakes and coffees often call for splashes of rose water or candied petals. However, they’re not using the fluffy, perfectly manicured roses you would find at the florist. Instead, they use wild roses – specifically roses they know have not been sprayed with pesticides or harmful chemicals. You can find yours either at the farmer’s market, or even in your own backyard.
Trying New Recipes for Rose Month
Now that you’ve gotten your quick culinary lesson, let’s dive into how you can really celebrate National Rose Month! From breakfast to dessert, Basket has you covered with vibrant new recipes to try.
Start the Day with Rose Jam on Toast
Mmm, rose jam. Just the name alone sounds dreamy. Even better, it only requires three additional ingredients! This recipe makes about 25 oz. of delicious rose petal jam, several ounces more than what you would find in a standard jar of Smucker’s jelly or preserves. For this recipe you’ll need:
- 4 cups of white caster sugar
- 1 full cup of fresh rose petals, preferably dark pink or red and fragrant
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or the juice of one large lemon
Once completed, the rose jam will have a silky, syrup consistency. Spoon onto toast or croissants for a tasty start to the morning (or, over a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling cheeky!).
Find the full instructions to whipping up rose jam here!
Enjoy Rose Salad for Lunch
Perhaps you don’t want to boil the rose petals to get their floral taste onto your plate. Never worry! We’ve got a solution for that too. Try your hand at a garden rose salad! You’ll want these ingredients to create the perfect salad:
- Mixed greens
- Chopped basil
- Sliced peas
- Pomegranate seeds
- Rose petals, preferably fragrant for maximum flavor
Combine your ingredients into a large bowl, tossing lightly to avoid tearing the petals. As with any salad, feel free to include any additional ingredients that you enjoy or have sitting in the fridge. Additional nuts or berries, such as raspberries and cherries, would be delightful – plus they’re in season this time of year, allowing for price drops (be sure to check Basket to find where they’re cheapest near you!).
For dressing, try out a drizzle of honey and olive oil to incorporate additional sweetness into the dish. Or, opt for a vinaigrette if you’d prefer. There are no rules with this delicious salad.
Dig into Rose Petal Chicken for Dinner
Do you want the good news, or the even better news? For one, this recipe is delicious. Secondly, this recipe calls for chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are a traditionally cheaper cut of poultry, which means you can really cut costs when making this meal. To create this succulent dish for four, you’ll need these ingredients:
- 2 lbs of chicken thighs, skin on and bone-in
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of dried rose petals
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons of ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon of crushed fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
If you cannot readily find dried rose petals near you, we’ve got the solution. Pluck rose petals from the stem – be sure they are still vibrant in color and are in full bloom, this is the only way to ensure they remain bright when dried. Line a microwave safe plate with a double layer of paper towels, and then place the petals you would like to dry on the paper towels. Place petals in a single layer without any overlapping.
Cover with another layer of paper towel, then place a second microwave safe plate on top to act as a lid for the bottom plate. Place the stack of plates in the microwave and heat on high for approximately 40 seconds, or until the petals are no longer damp to the touch.
To move forward with this recipe, put the chicken thighs in a large bowl and combine the above ingredients well to make a marinade. Cover the bowl and let the mixture marinate overnight. When prepared to cook, preheat the oven to 350 and put the chicken thighs and marinade in a shallow roasting tin. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and bake for 1 hour. Voila! You have rose petal chicken!
Decadent Rose Ice Cream for Dessert
Ah, the best for last. Time to make rose ice cream that you’ll want to enjoy year round, not just during Rose Month. For the ice cream, you’ll need:
- 1 cup of rose petals
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 1/4 cups of superfine sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
Note: You will need an ice cream machine for this recipe.
Taking 20 minutes of cook time and 2 hours to freeze, you’ll have a decadent sweet treat that serves 6 to 8 in no time! For the list of steps on how to create your own rose ice cream, check out this step by step guide.
Time to live la vie en rose! This Rose Month, really push your boundaries in the kitchen by trying your hand with these rose-infused recipes. Be sure to check Basket to find the lowest prices on all the ingredients you’ll need to celebrate rosily all month long!