In the spring and summer, I flock towards big, bold colors in the kitchen: the bright greens of asparagus and peas, the vibrant yellow of lemons, the red hues of strawberries and raspberries. In addition to bright color, after a winter of routine meals and not-so-inspiring produce, I also reach for interesting new flavors. Lately, I've landed on rose petals and rose water.
Rose can be a somewhat acquired taste. I find that the people who don't like it have often tried recipes that use it with a heavy hand when, really, the best way to bake or cook with rosewater, rose jelly or rose petals is to use them quite sparingly.
There are many ways to work the flavor of rose into your spring and summer desserts. I like to make a rose sugar by mixing rose petals with a bit of sugar in the food processor or blender. Scatter this on top of cookies, scones or muffins for a slightly sweet, floral flavor. A rose syrup is nice to have around for cocktails and to infuse into baked goods. And many people like to add the fresh petals to jam, or dry them and fold them into granola.
When using roses in the kitchen, it's best to try and find unsprayed or organic roses or rose petals as the commercial ones are often treated with pesticides. Here are a few great dessert recipes that would be a worthy addition to any spring or summer gathering — pretty, delicious, and all using the flavor of rose delicately.
Do you have a favorite rose petal recipe?
(Images: Everything is Poetry)