Rose City Salad
Rose petals are edible and each variety has a unique sweet aromatic flavor which taste not exactly like, but similar to a strawberry. The different varieties (colors) have variances in flavor and aromatics with the dark side of the spectrum generally being the more intense. If you haven’t eaten flowers before, give them a try; it’s quite a treat to munch on fresh flower petals in the spring. Although all roses are edible I prefer the petals from the smaller sized roses best. There are definitely some hits and misses with flower petals (even within the same plant) but they are totally worthwhile, however if they don’t suit your tastes just use them as a garnish. I may have used an overly generous portion of edible flowers here.
As a bonus, you guessed it, roses petals contain many nutritional properties including vitamin A, C, D, E and antioxidants. They are used in many of the world’s ancient medicines. Rose petals are used to increase circulation, reduce swelling and as an anti-inflammatory. In Chinese Medicine rose petals are used to assist painful and irregular menses.
Although I love to garden I don’t consider myself a rose aficionado but I planted one token rose in my yard. Roses get sprayed regularly but I like to know mine has not been. It’s also handy to have a rose on sight in case you need to clip one off and give it to your honey.
Rose City ‘Spring has sprung’ Salad
whatever amount of mixed lettuce greens
other mixed edible flowers or fresh herbs
handful sliced strawberries
handful chopped walnuts
bottle of Oregon Blossom wine (optional)
Once you start adding edible flowers to salads you likely have just started a new habit. Get creative and start looking at your yard differently as it may have several varieties of potential edibles. The arrival of the first berries of spring are here so strawberries, you are going in my salad too. The yellow beet can be eaten raw or cooked. I like to cook a few beets ahead of time and save them in the fridge for use during the week. There are two options for preparing the beet, the first is to just peel the raw beet with a carrot peeler and use fresh, the second is to boil the beet whole for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate ahead of time.
Prepare Honey Mustard vinaigrette dressing. Toss the mixed salad greens with about half of the dressing. Arrange strawberries and rose petals around the perimeter of the plate. Add a handful of salad greens to middle of each plate (4). Use a cheese grater and shred beet over the top of each salad. Sprinkle the walnuts over top, situate any addition rose pedals, flowers, or herbs into the salad. Drizzle a little more honey mustard vinaigrette as desired. Garnish with chopped chives. … and wine.
There are a lot of edible flowers, here are some of the most common varieties.
Pansies & Viola”s…use whole flower
Dandelion…pinch off petals
Rose…pick off petals