5 Recipes That Put Roses on Your Plate Instead of in a Vase
Instead of giving your loved ones a feast for the eyes, give them a proper feast. Cooks across the Middle East and Europe have been adding the subtly sweet and evocative flavor of roses to pastries, puddings, stews, and syrups for millennia—all to intoxicating effect. Now, by just adding two new tools to your pantry—rose water and rose tea—you can too. Both ingredients are easily found online or in the international aisle of most grocery stores. (Rose water is just the distilled essence of water and rose petals; if you're lucky enough to be gifted organic roses, you could even try making it yourself.) Need inspiration? We've got five simple recipes that are a perfectly sweet (and tasty) place to start.
Pomegranate Rose Granita
Sweet, tart, and brilliantly purple, this icy treat is delicious served plain or with a spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream. A scant teaspoon of rose water gives the mixture a gentle floral note and accentuates the complex berry flavor of pomegranate. Bonus: It's a great frozen dessert that doesn’t require an ice cream maker—just a small pan and a fork.
Get the recipe: Pomegranate Rose Granita
Buttery Rose Tea Cake
Fortifying the buttery batter with strong, steeped rose tea lends this craveable cake a distinctive color and a delightful, subtle perfume. Glaze it with an easy confectioner's sugar icing and slice it into fat, crumbly squares to create the perfect companion for afternoon tea or after-dinner coffee.
Get the recipe: Buttery Rose Tea Cake
Sparkling Rose Cocktail
This fizzy, fragrant twist on a champagne cocktail pairs tart pink grapefruit juice with a splash of floral rose water, sugar, and sparkling wine. Warning: Be moderate when adding the rose water or else, instead of a drink with a gentle floral edge, you'll wind up with one that tastes like perfume.
Get the recipe: Sparkling Rose Cocktail
Rose and Almond Meringues
Airy and chewy-crisp, these impossible-to-resist rosettes get their nutty edge from the addition of ground almonds and delicate fragrance from a whisper of rose water. Using a resealable plastic bag to pipe them out, pastry-chef style, makes it easy to get the shape just right. For an extra hit of sweetness, garnish them with a flurry of powdered sugar before serving.
Get the recipe: Rose and Almond Meringues
Rose Panna Cotta With Honey Apricots
Praise the panna cotta. Simple, pretty, and so very delicious, this creamy no-bake dessert is both a cinch to throw together and utterly elegant. Adding a few drops of rose water lends the vanilla custard a complexity and richness, while tender, cardamom-spiced, honey-drenched apricots are a sweet, near-Eastern-inspired finishing touch.
Get the recipe: Rose Panna Cotta With Honey Apricots