Last weekend, I took a class on foraging in the Pacific Northwest. There were a bunch of various roots, mushrooms, and leaves that we picked and tasted as we wandered through the woods. And we made them all into a pretty incredible gourmet wild feast. But one of the most intriguing discoveries for me was the Nootka Rose.
The Nootka Rose is a pale pink 5-petal rose, native to this part of the country. You can pick some petals (good harvesting principals recommend taking no more than 3 petals per flower) and mix them with greens to take your salad to the next level.
Or, you can grind the petals up in a coffee grinder with some sugar and water to create a gorgeous magenta syrup. If you don’t like floral tastes, you probably won’t like this, but if you do, well, it’s pretty heavenly. Your imagination is the limit on how you can use the syrup — we mixed ours with our salad dressing which gave it a wonderfully complex flavor, and I’ve also seen recipes for various desserts and ice cream.
Best of all, now that I know what this flower is, I’ve been spotting them all over. Everything’s coming up roses… and I am going to eat them all.
The fearless instructor of my foraging class, Jennifer Hahn, has an enticing recipe for Nootka Rose Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote in her book, Pacific Feast: A Field Guide to Coastal Foraging and Cuisine.
And, I want to try this recipe (from ifood) for Nootka Rose Petal Ice Cream this sumer.
There’s more info on edible flowers here.