Flower Food: Rose Recipes
Roses make beautiful table settings, but did you realise most varieties are also great to eat?
Cooking with roses
Each rose has a unique sweet and floral flavour ranging from green apples to strawberries.
Their soft scent also makes the perfect addition to aromatic dishes. As a general rule the more fragrant the rose the more flavourful it will be, so let your nose be your guide!
Damask roses have been used for centuries to make rose water and rose scented oils. Garden roses and heirloom rose are also perfect for cooking but don’t eat any rose that has been treated with pesticides or any other chemicals. We would also recommend saving red roses for decorating as they tend to have very little flavour or fragrance.
How to prepare roses for cooking
The best time to pick roses is mid-morning. Gather your roses after the morning dew but before the midday heat. It’s also advisable to clip off the small white portion at the base of each petal before cooking as this has a bitter taste. Gently wash the rose petals and lay on a clean tea towel to dry.
If your recipe calls for fresh petals, you’ll need to use them within two hours of removing them from the flower. You can also store rose petals in a fridge for up to a week. A dehydrator or laying out the petals to dry in the sun will give you a ready supply of dried rose petals. Store them in a sealed glass jar out of the sun.
Rose petals are commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine and some Indian dishes.
You may be familiar with rose-flavoured Turkish delight.
The African spice mix “ras el hanout” is a flavoursome mix of dried rose petals, coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, clove and cinnamon. Spice mixes with rose make excellent rubs for meats and accompaniments to stews.
Our mouths are watering at the thoughts of this recipe for Ras-el-hanout chicken wraps.
In western culture, roses are more often used in desserts. Rose pairs really well with honey and summer berries.
We love this idea for pimping Eton mess.
Easy ways to add a rose kick to dishes!
- Candied Rose Petals
The perfect after-dinner treat or to garnish cakes or other desserts.
Paint each petal with beaten egg whites then dip in caster sugar. Lay the petals on wax paper to dry.
- Summer Salads
Fresh rose petals look and taste great in fresh fruit and green salads. You can even create a floral vinegar to dress salad leaves. Pack a jar with one cup of petals and add two cups of just boiling white vinegar and leave to cool in a dark place for two to three weeks. Eventually, the vinegar will take on the colour of the petals and you can strain and use in salad dressings.
The perfect cup of Rosy Lee
Lera Zujeva runs bespoke tea tours, tea ceremonies and workshops in London. She’s known as the “tea whisperer” and we were thrilled she led free rose tea tasting sessions at our Shepperton show site on Saturday 29th June to coincide with the Rose Festival Weekend at Squire’s Garden Centre.
Lera’s recommendations for rose-infused teas:
Pure Rose Tea
Rose is known to be a symbol of beauty and love, but not many know that it possesses medicinal qualities too. Taken in its pure form it can lift us up and is said to relieve trauma, stress, anxiety, depression, heartbreak and grief. It is a teacher of how to be both strong and soft and can connect us to our own power of vulnerability.
Try pink rosebuds £7:29 for 25g from Baldwins and Co.
White Rose Tea from Darjeeling
Darjeeling is well known for its highly praised 1st and 2nd flush black teas – but for a few years now they have been producing green and white teas too. This particular Tea is a White Tea blended with Rose Petals – perfect for a warm summer day. It contains antioxidants that are so abundant in white tea and rose petals for this perfect connection to our heart.
Try Tea2You £14:99 for 40g.
Rose and Cardamom Tea
The delicate sweetness of Rose Damascena perfectly pairs with warming notes of cardamom.
A harmonious caffeine-free blend for an afternoon tea, mint, crisp apples and green rooibos make an aromatic infusion that is reminiscent of Moroccan gardens.
This blend was inspired by travels to Marrakech. Rosa Damascena has a cooling effect on the body, so is perfect for drinking in the heat, while cardamom and mint are redolent of the vibrant spices and flavours of summer food markets.
Try My Cup of Tea £10:00 for 40g.