Bring beauty from the garden to the plate

Published on Tuesday, 8 October 2013 23:33 - Written by CHRISTINE GARDNER

Tyler’s annual celebration of roses showcases the amazing beauty our city has to offer — from the flowers, to the gowns, to the queen and her court.

And the classic qualities of the rose are far reaching. The perfect bud in a vase, the natural beauty of a rose bush in the garden, a spray of climbing roses or a simple arrangement in a vase — its image transcends and inspires in endless ways.

In the kitchen, many patterns of china are adorned with the rose and it decorates the table through linens, silver, and service pieces. As a food, rose water is often used in baked goods, desserts and drinks. Dried rose petals can be found in teas, candy, preserves and as edible flowers in salads.

The essence, color and shape of roses have inspired recipes for centuries. They represent style, elegance, luxury and beauty.  Their mere presence at a meal elevates the dining experience and brings grace to the table.



Tomato & Cucumber Rosette Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette



2 medium tomatoes

1/2 English cucumber

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups mixed greens

Parmesan shavings and slivered almonds, for garnish



Using a paring knife cut the peel of the tomato off of the tomato, starting at the top and working your way around to the bottom, in one long strip. Reserve remaining tomato parts for the vinaigrette. Roll the strip around itself to make the rose shape. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise down the middle of the cucumber. Make very thin slices of each half so that you have several half circles of cucumbers. Gather eight slices of cucumber and begin layering the slices, slightly overlapping on a cutting board. Begin rolling the row of cucumber slices, from left to right. Hold very tightly and then turn flat side down to stand up on a plate. Repeat with remaining cucumber slices. In a food processor, puree the reserved tomato parts, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Arrange the salad greens on two plates. Place a tomato rose in the middle and cucumber roses around the tomato or place one of the cucumber roses in the middle of the tomato. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and add the cheese and almonds to garnish. Makes 2 salads.


Apple Rose Tarts



1 box pie dough (refrigerator section), includes two 9-inch sheets

4 pink lady apples

1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on desired sweetness

2 cups cranberry juice

2 cups apple cider

2 cups water

1 teaspoon citric acid

1 jar of strawberry jam or lemon curd

1 tablespoon honey



In a large saucepan combine the sugar, cranberry juice, apples cider, water and citric acid. Bring to a boil. Cut apples into quarters and remove core. Using a mandoline or the slicing blade on a box grater, slice the apples very thin, but not paper-thin. Place the apple slices in the boiling liquid. Reduce to a high simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the slices are flexible enough to roll without breaking. Strain the slices from the liquid and let cool completely. While cooling, roll out your pie dough and cut into four-inch rounds. You should be able to cut eight to twelve rounds. Prick the rounds with a fork in several places. Using a non-stick cupcake pan, press the rounds of dough into the holes with the dough flat on the bottom and pressed gently up the sides. Bake the dough for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. If it starts to puff in places, prick with a fork to release the air.

After baking, let the tart shells cool and place a spoonful of jam or curd in the bottom of each tart shell. To make the rose shape apples, pick eight slices in similar size. Take the first slice and lay it flat (curved, skin side up) on a work surface, take the second slice and overlap it over the first slice leaving about a 1/4 of the slice exposed. Continue to slightly overlap each slice onto the prior slice until you have all eight slices overlapping in a line. Starting with the first slice begin rolling up the line, from left to right, into a single bunch. Keep the roll tight, especially at the top of the slices. The bottoms may start to come loose but keep rolling. Immediately place the bundle, curve side up, into a tart shell. Loosen some of the slices to fill out the shell and form them more into the shape of a rose. Repeat with remaining slices and shells. When completed, place 1/4 cup jam or curd in a bowl with the honey. Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and microwave again, until liquid. Baste the tops of the apples with the mixture. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. When cool, carefully remove the tarts from the pan and serve.


Limoncello Glaze



2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons limoncello

pinch of salt



Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add more or less sugar to adjust consistency. Use instead of frosting over pound cake, cupcakes or muffins.



Rose Sangria



1 bottle of sparkling Rose wine

2 small lemons, halved and sliced

1 orange, halved and sliced

1 cup diced honeydew

1/2 cup orange liqueur

1/2 cup brandy

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup club soda



In a large container, combine the orange and lemon slices and honeydew. Add the orange liqueur and brandy. Stir to combine and let soak for 2 to 8 hours. After soaking add the contents to a large pitcher and top with the bottle of sparkling wine and club soda. Stir to combine and then add the raspberries.


Lemon Rose Martini



2 ounces gin (Hendrick’s, preferred)

2 ounces Raspberry Chambord

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 bottle Fentimen’s Rose Lemonade

Ice cubes

Lemon wedges, for garnish



Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add the gin, Chambord and lemon juice. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain equally into two large martini glasses or four small ones. Top with the lemonade. Repeat to make the remaining martinis. Garnish with lemons. Note: Hendrick’s gin is used because it is infused with rose petals. Fentimen’s Rose Lemonade is available at Sweet Gourmet in the French Quarter in Tyler.