Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cooking With Roses

I love rugosa roses! In addition to being beautiful, they are also prolific and I use a lot of rose petals and hips in the kitchen!
Any rose can be used for cooking. They are all edible, but the rugosa roses are so easy to grow. You can grow rows of them just from cuttings or seed and they will reseed themselves if left alone. I prefer to grow things from seed, rather than cuttings if possible, because of the genetic diversity but if I am in a hurry for more, I will use cuttings. When you plant a handfull of rose seeds, you could get any kind of rose from those seeds, throwbacks from ancesters of that rose or a genetic rarity. You just never know what you are going to get. Not all roses grow well from seed but rugosa roses do and they produce a lot of tasty hips too!
Rose hips are very high in vitamin C (approximately 1,700 mg of C in 100 gm of dried rosehip). That's higher than oranges and grapefruits! Rose hips have become a popular natural treatment for arthritis due to their anti inflammatory and anitoxident effects. Rose hips also contain carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, beta-chryptoxanthin, rubixanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein.

If you just thought roses were for the flowerbed, you were wrong! Plant them in your herb garden!

I plant to plant rows and rows of them this year from seed and cuttings. I already have a beautiful violet one (pictured above) and pink ones. Who knows what I will get from open pollinated seed! I love surprise gardening!
I have open pollinated rugosa rose seeds for sale in my seed store now. They are stratified, being collected this week from the roses outdoors, so should be ready to germinate.
I made wine from the rose petals last year (see post "Making Flower Wines"). It has been ready for a few weeks now and is my favourite so far! The rose bouquet fills my nose when I drink it. It's like summer in a bottle!
Add rose petals to salads and sandwiches!
Below are some simple rose recipes:
Basic Rose Hip Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 heaping teaspoons of chopped rose hips. You can use rose hips with or without their seeds. Steep the herbal tea, covered, for 15 minutes and strain.
Pose Petal Jelly (See post on "Making Flower Jellies"
2 cups flower petals (or fresh young herb leaves)
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
600 oz liquid pectin (2 pckges) or equivalent powder (You may find that the liquid works better for this purpose than the powder)
4 cups sugar

Rose Hip Jam Take two cups Rosa rugosa hips. Wash thoroughly and cut out the black calyx. Cook hips in two cups water until tender. Mash fruit while cooking. Push pulp through a fine sieve and to each cup of pulp add one cup of water. Then cook until the pulp thickens to the consistency of other jams.

Rose Honey
1 and 3/4 cups cleaned rose hips
2 and 1/2 cups water
Cook rose hips in the water about 15 minutes and occasionally crush them. When they are tender, pour into jelly bag and strain off juice. This quantity yields about 7/8 cup of juice to which add enough water to make a cupful then add one tsp. lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar and cook rapidly until juice jellies on a silver spoon. This will thin to a honey consistency when cold. It is delicious served on waffles, pancakes, over desserts or in cakes and frostings.

Candied Rose Petals
Rose petals must be dry and clean. Dip both sides in slightly whipped egg whites, then coat both sides of the petals immediately with granulated sugar and lay carefully on waxed paper. Allow to dry thoroughly before packing in boxes. To speed drying, turn the petals once. Keep dry and cool.

Rose Petal Syrup(See previous pose on dandelion syrup)
4 cups rose petals
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Boil rose petals in water for an hour. Remove petals with a sieve and add sugar. Boil until thick and syrupy.

Rose Petal Butter
1 Cup fresh Rose Petals, chopped
3/4 Cup softened unsalted Butter
Mix together well and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to let the rose flavor meld into the butter. Keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks or frozen for several months.

Rose Petal Pesto
Two Cups Fresh Basil
One Cup Rose Petals
4 Large Garlic Cloves
1 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Rosewater
1 Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup of Freshly Grated Romano Cheese
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
Rinse Rose Petals and Basil thoroughly and pat dry. Cup up Rose Petals with sharp scissors. Peel and chop garlic. Combine the basil, garlic and Pine nuts, chop in either a food processor or blender. While still processing add olive oil and rose water slowly. Add the Parmesan and Romano, salt and pepper, blend lightly.

Green Tea and Rose Petal Popsicles
3 cups water
1-1/2 tbsp green tea leaves (about 3 tea bags)
1/4 cup assorted organic small rose petals.
Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat. Pour over tea in a ceramic teapot. Fill popsicle molds loosely with rose petals. Steep tea for 5 minutes and strain into popsicle holders. Freeze in the freezer for 30 minutes, then place the wooden sticks in the center of the popsicle holders. (This is a good time to spread the petals throughout the mold evenly.) Freeze until solid and serve immediately.

Rose Petal Ice Cream Makes approx. 3 cups.
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 ½ cups loosely packed, very fragrant old rose petals, washed and dry.
Follow directions for your individual ice cresm freezer.

I have open pollinated rugosa rose seeds for sale in my seed store now. They are stratified, being collected this week from the roses outdoors, so should be ready to germinate.


icebear said...

The color of that wine is lovely- i bet the flavor is as rich as the color. I have some Big Hip rose seedlings that i hope made it through the winter and there is a beach nearby that has Salt Mist roses, i may collect some hips and try starting some from seed via your inspiration. It should make a nice combination.

Another delicious flowr is Nasturtiums, they are peppery and fragrant, then there is a sudden splash of sweetness when you reach the nectar at the narrow tip of the trumpet.
Flowers can be as tasty as they are beautiful.

Rose H (UK) said...

Fabulous recipies! I've bookmarked the page for later in the year :o) Thank you for sharing, my mouth is watering!

The Japanese Redneck said...

My knockout roses are already blooming. I'm not sure if any of mine are the rugosa.

Leigh said...

I planted three rugosas last year and they're coming along just fine. Great post with great information. I really want to extend them into a rugosa hedge, so I am delighted to know about growing from cuttings.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, I lice in Texas, about 20 minutes north of San Antonio. Do you think your roses would do well down here?? I'd love to get some, but am not sure if they will make it in out heat and humidity.
Thanks so much.
Debi Roberts
Bulverde Texas

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Debbie! I don't know if rugosa roses will grow down there or not. I do know that you can grow roses there, lots of beautiful tender roses that I cannot grow!