Edible Plant of the Day

After the success of our Edible Plant Identification walk on Sunday 1st June, we thought we would share with you some of the highlights of what we found and some tips for recipes.

Remember that it’s crucial with any foraging that you are 100% confident that the plant you are picking is safe for consumption. Do not pick any plant you are unsure about.

So our Edible Plant of the Day today is…Dog Rose

Dog rose

Dog rose

There is an array of pretty pink dog roses and white field roses all over the marshes right now to appreciate, and forage if you wish to. Remember when picking roses to pick the petals only, that way you leave the pollen for the bees! Rose petals are used in many Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines to make sweet, floral preserves and vibrant garnishes.

You can make rose petal jam, candied rose petals, rose cupcakes and even rose petal custard!

However, my personal favourite is rose-infused honey which as well as being delicious, looks great and makes a fabulous gift. The bonus is that it’s easy to make too!

How to Make Rose Petal-Infused Honey

What You Need

Ingredients

Basic formula: Use about 1-2 tablespoons of dried petals per 1 cup (8 ounces) of honey.

Honey: A light, mild flavored honey generally works best. (If you can find a local source of honey, all the better as this helps support your local bees and beekeepers.)

Petals: You can use just the petals or use them in combination with other herbs. Rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile and pine needles all make lovely infused honeys. You can also use spices like vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Herbs should be dry; see instructions below.

Equipment
Clean, dry jars and lids (half-pint and pint mason jars work well)
Chopstick, wooden spoon handle, or other stirrer (avoid metal, which can scratch jars)
Clean cloth for wiping jar rims
Strainer

Instructions

1. Prepare petals: The buds or petals should be dry and if you are combining with herbs, may be in the form of whole sprigs or separated leaves. Chopped herbs may infuse more quickly, but they may also be harder to strain out. (To dry fresh herbs, use an air or oven drying method, dehydrator, ormicrowave.)

2. Combine herbs and honey: Place petals in the bottom of a jar and fill the jar almost to the top with honey. Using a chopstick or other implement, stir to coat the herbs with honey. Top off with more honey to fill the jar. Wipe the jar rim with a clean cloth and cover tightly.

Tip: Label the jar with the contents and date so you don’t forget!

3. Infuse: Let the petals infuse for at least 5 days. If the petals float to the top, turn the jar over a few times to keep them well coated. For a more intense flavor, infuse for another week or longer.

4. Strain: Strain the honey into a clean jar. Depending on the volume of honey and petals and the size of the strainer, you may need to do this in stages. (Tip: Use the leftover petals to make a tisane.)

5. Store: Store the honey in a tightly covered jar in a cool, dry place. It will last indefinitely.

Recipe reproduced from http://www.thekitchn.com

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