Tuesday, February 24, 2009

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Salad

The Leftover Queen has once again summoned her courtiers for a Royal Foodie Joust and this time the three ingredients which must be alchemized into something delicious include edible flowers, shallots and setsumas (or other orange citrus). This trio of ingredients has proven once again to be a challenge to the Crispy Cook, especially as it is the middle of an especially harsh and icy winter here in upstate New York and I don't anticipate any flowers to nosh on until at least Mother's Day when my purple and white violets and chive blossoms will bloom in the garden and lawn.

Originally I planned to force some Chinese chives to blossom by planting them in a pitcher of water, which I refreshed daily for a week, until I gave in to the forces of nature (and the ravages of two naughty chive-chomping felines) and realized that they would just dry out and sag before they bloomed. These chives were beautiful specimens from my recent discovery of Lee's Market in Albany, with triangular stems and a garlicky scent and flavor.

I was not sure that a bunch of wizened chive buds would qualify as flower, so I ransacked the Crispy Cupboards to see what other floral edibles might be lurking about, and then I spied a bottle of rosewater which I had purchased recently and figured I could put together a perfumed salad of greens, chopped chives (and withered blossoms!), orange sections and rosewater vinaigrette. It was quick and easy and I thought it was really savory. My husband was less impressed with having a salad that smelled like a rosebush, but I thought it was delightful and somewhat Middle Eastern.

Here, then, I present to you and my Queen, an elegant salad, with literary tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. for extra delectability:

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Salad

2 cups romaine lettuce, washed, dried and sliced
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 orange, peeled and pith removed, and sliced into chunks
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries or Craisins
1/4 cup snipped Chinese Chives and withered blossoms
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly and separated into rings


1/2 cup light vegetable oil (don't use olive oil or other strong-flavored oil as this will dilute the perfume of the rosewater)
1/4 cup rosewater
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Arrange romaine on salad plates. Adorn with mushrooms, oranges, dried cranberries shallots and chives.

Blend together dressing ingredients and sprinkle over salad. Remaining dressing should be capped to retain rosewater perfume. It was delightful over cooked rice the next day for a quick salad.

Makes 2 salads.

Do check back with the Leftover Queen at the end of the month to see what other edible flowers will grace the Royal Table.


Maggie said...

I was similarly frustrated by the edible flower ingredient. Using rosewater is inspired! I'll give this a try with orange flower water since I'm not a fan of rosewater.

ARLENE said...

Love the literary illusion and must say you were very creative in your choice of edible flower. Men just don't get it!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This is an awesome entry, Rachel and I am so happy to see you come up with such a creative solution as rosewater!

Ivy said...

Your salad sounds great. The edible flower was a real challenge and I also made a salad and debated whether to use rose water or bitter orange blossom water in the vinaigrette. I finally chose the second as in my mind rose water reminds me of sweets.

Absolutely Not Martha said...

hi! just wanted to mention that I’m doing a post about favorite gluten free food products on absolutely not martha. I’d LOVE to hear what yours is--just leave me a comment (if you haven’t already).

Anonymous said...

Refreshing. Very refreshing.

Karen Brown Letarte said...

This looks sooooo good! What a great idea to use Rosewater. (I'm crazy about it, sometimes I even get the rosewater softdrink at the Lebanese deli!) Yum! And so pretty, too!

Thanks for visiting my blog (DomestickMuse.blogspot.com


Anonymous said...

Love love love the title! :)