Your Guide to Cooking With Roses and Other Edible Flowers
If you’re new to cooking with roses and flowers, then you are in the right place. For most people, even many seasoned cooks, the experience of incorporating flowers into their dishes will be something they have never experienced nor thought about before.
Wondering how you can introduce these beautiful buds and blooms to your meals? Let’s get started!
How to Cook With Roses
The benefit of cooking with roses is that you can incorporate new and exciting flavors and textures into your food. The beautiful visuals that come with using roses in your cooking are sure to delight your friends and family. Plus, nearly every variety of rose is edible and can be used in cooking.
Of course, you won’t want to use a rose that has had chemicals or pesticides applied to it. The taste of the blooms will vary from one type of rose to another. For example, red roses actually have very little fragrance or flavor. It would be wise to save these to make a lovely bouquet for your home.
If you are using fresh roses from your garden, use them within two hours of being picked. The small white part at the bottom of the petal should not be used, as it is very bitter. Remember that flower petals must be carefully cleaned and allowed to dry before being used.
Some of the best ways to incorporate rose petals into your daily life are through rose water, salads, butter, and of course, desserts. You’ll also find recipes that incorporate flowers into soups, beverages, and much more.
Probably the best and easiest way to use roses is as a garnish for your food and beverages. For a beautiful touch to any drink, try freezing flower petals into ice cubes before putting them into a cocktail. It will delight the senses and bring smiles and joy to your guests!
Wild Rose Petal Jam
Making a decadent wild rose petal jam is a simple way to add a delicious, floral flavor to your food. Simply pour your jam over ice cream, cake, or serve it on a piece of toast or a scone for a wonderful breakfast bite in the morning.
To make wild rose petal jam, start by collecting roses that you know to be fresh. Be sure to rinse off your petals, so they’re clean before you begin cooking.
For this recipe, you’ll need about two cups of lightly packed rose petals. Place these petals in a glass bowl. Then, in a medium pot, bring the petals and water to a simmer for 10 minutes. The color of the rose petals may begin to fade, but never fear. Their beauty will soon return!
Next, add two cups of sugar and three tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and watch the gorgeous transformation begin. The lemon juice will start to bring out the color of the roses. Add a sprinkle of sugar at the end. Stir the petal mixture for 20 minutes, and it will begin to thicken. Once the jam has reached a beautiful red or magenta color, your jam is finished.
Place your wild rose petal jam in small glass mason jars and refrigerate them. Once the jam has cooled fully, spoon it onto a piece of toast and enjoy. The sweetness of the roses will add the perfect touch to a morning yogurt parfait or over fresh oats.
This refreshing recipe will brighten your mood and will satisfy your sweet tooth. Now, let’s discover other types of edible flowers and which ones are the best for cooking.
Best Edible Flowers
Many other parts of the world, especially the Middle East, India, Turkey, and Northern Africa, have been enjoying flower petals in their cooking for years.
Cooking with flowers can add beautiful color and unique flavor to any meal. However, not all flowers are edible, and some can even be poisonous, so be sure to do your research.
Here are some of the most popular edible flowers to use when cooking:
- Squash Blossoms
- Carnations (aka Dianthus caryophyllus)
- Chive flowers (Also known as Allium schoenoprasum)
Not all parts of the flowers should be eaten when cooking, so it’s important to find detailed recipes that will walk you through the cooking process. But before we start cooking, let’s dive into what popular edible flowers taste like.
What Do Flowers Taste Like
Spring and summer are the best seasons to cook with edible flowers due to the wide range of fresh blossoms available. Each flower has a different taste and flavor, making them uniquely suited for different types of cuisine.
Let’s break down the different flavors of edible flowers and learn about what they taste like.
Elderflowers are small white flowers with a bright taste. These flowers can be used in cooking both fresh and dried. Elderflowers are most known for their presence in Scandinavian cuisine and are often used when making lemonade.
This beautiful blue flower should be eaten fresh, straight from the garden. Borage is usually used in salads and as a garnish in a refreshing cocktail. Candied borage can also be used when baking pastries or desserts and when decorating gorgeous cakes.
These small flowers have a cucumber-like taste and can even be used in ice water for added summer flavor.
Hibiscus is a popular flowering plant known for its large petals and vibrant colors. Dried hibiscus is also a popular gourmet treat, and it tastes similar to a cranberry. Hibiscus is often used as a garnish on desserts and can even be used in sweet syrup or in delicious tea.
The calendula is a very common flower used when it comes to cooking. Calendulas are part of the daisy family and have long, bright yellow petals, perfect for adding a pop of color to your latest cooking creation.
Calendulas are often added to rice dishes, poultry, and salad. Grow your own calendulas or buy them from a local farmer’s market to ensure that the flowers have not been treated with pesticides and are safe to eat.
Pansies are a delightful treat that will add a perfumed, elegant taste to your food and drinks. They can be used in everything from salads to desserts. Pansies are also used in punch and will add a beautiful wintergreen flavor to your drink.
Try using fresh pansies to make a lovely Strawberry Peach Pansy Sparkling Punch for your next wedding shower or holiday party.
Floating pansies make a show-stopping and beautiful display when laying atop a beautiful punch or glittering on top of a gorgeous cake. Sugared pansies are also popular on cakes and desserts. Simply dip your pansies in egg white and dust them with sugar.
All flowers of the mint family are edible and have a fresh, wonderful taste. Try adding lemon balm or spearmint to a glass of iced tea or adding crushed mint leaves to your teapot. Mint leaves are also popular in dips, juices, stir-fries, pizza, pasta, and salsa verde.
Scarlet Runner Beans
If you love making stir-fry or seasoned mixed vegetables, then growing scarlet runner beans in your garden is the way to go. Scarlet runner beans are perfect for mixing into a salad or in with your steamed veggies.
These bright red flowers will add a pop of color to your dishes or can even be eaten as fresh greens string beans in the pod.
Honeysuckle flowers are naturally sweet, making them the perfect flower to bring into the kitchen. Try adding these wildflowers into wine or adding honeysuckle syrup to a muffin recipe for some added sweetener.
The blossoms also make for a wonderful addition to a summer salad. Just never eat the honeysuckle berries, as this can give you an upset stomach and is not advised.
When you think of chamomile, you probably think of a lovely cup of steaming chamomile tea. English chamomile has small, daisy-like flowers with an apple-like flavor and is the perfect addition to a tossed salad.
Now, let’s check out some delicious recipe ideas to satisfy your flower cravings.
Recipe Ideas with Edible Flowers
There are countless ways to use edible flowers in your cooking. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate edible flowers into your recipes:
- Make candied rose petals by using egg white, water, and sugar.
- Fry up zucchini flowers with flour, breadcrumbs, and goat cheese.
- Whip up dandelion bread pudding by using eggs, cream, shredded cheese, fresh greens, and bread.
- Cool off with flower popsicles by freezing edible flowers in water and sugar.
- Make savory scallops with fresh hibiscus or jasmine flowers on top.
- Crush up candied violet to make delicious violet macaroons.
- Add beautiful red poppy petals to golden spaghetti to make a gorgeous pasta entree.
- Fry up tempura-battered calendula flowers with sea salt for a tasty treat.
- Make an egg salad crostini featuring arugula blossoms at the base and sprinkled with crushed black pepper.
- Bake vanilla cupcakes with candied lavender blossoms on top for a sweet treat.
After finding the perfect recipe, it’s time for the exciting part, finding your edible flowers.
Where To Buy Edible Flowers
You can find edible flowers at farmer’s markets, as well as some large grocery stores. Edible flowers are normally sold in the produce section, near the leafy greens used in salads. If purchasing flowers from a store or market, choose organically grown flowers free of any sprays or pesticides.
You can also grow edible flowers in your own home garden and harvest them yourself. Some of the easiest edible flowers to grow are marigolds, calendulas, nasturtiums, and honeysuckles.
After picking your flowers, rinse them with water before you start cooking. Flowers will taste and look the best right after they have opened and are picked.
Tips and Tricks for Cooking With Edible Flowers
If you are planning to cook a delicious meal for a lovely fall evening at home, try making a warm and delightful dinner using seasonal ingredients such as fried zucchini blossoms, butternut squash, pumpkin, and edible flowers. Use tons of warming fall spices such as chile and ginger.
Here are some tips and tricks to follow when cooking with edible flowers:
- Sprinkle edible flowers like citrus blossoms or marigolds in your green salads for a splash of color.
- Use clover, dandelions, or lavender to make decadent jams and jellies.
- For dessert, make crystallized or candied flowers for a sweet and edible garnish.
- Use flowers sparingly in recipes to avoid digestive problems.
- Candying your flowers will help to preserve them for baking needs..
- Store your flowers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to help them last stronger.
- You can add moisture to your flowers by adding in a slightly moist paper towel to help keep them hydrated.
All in all, cooking with roses and edible flowers is a wonderful way to bring freshness and beauty to your recipes and delicious dishes. We recommend growing the flowers in your own beautiful garden or finding fresh flowers at a local farmer’s market.
You can try adding edible flowers to all sorts of delicious recipes, and they will create an elegant display. Happy cooking!