Paying for my ounce of non contraband dried rose petals at one of Portland's local spice shops, I nodded diligently at the owner/clerk as he warned me not use any of the bitter stems. I was in a hurry. I had big plans (as seen above and below) for these petals and itching to hop on my bike to go home and get in the kitchen. I notified several friends who have given me props on my lavender ricotta cheese and this new floral cheese idea. One of them being my friend, Sara, who was throwing a backyard Summer Solstice party which merited the perfect occasion to unveil the rose petal cheese. Unlike lavender, dried rose petals are extremely mild so I ended up using a lot to get just a touch of rose flavor. It turned out to be a hit - people were eating this cheese with grilled steak and it worked great! I made another round for my Significant (m)Other and Father's first trip to Portland, improving on the process by further blending the rose petals before mixing in the cheese and adding a touch of rose water. The cheese's slight perfume is alluring, combined with salty-sweet flavors of the cheese, honey and nuts.
Rose Petal Ricotta Cheese with Honey and Pistachios
2 cups of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup dried rose petals (make sure all green stems are removed)
1/2 clove garlic, chopped
splash of rose water
salt adjust according to ricotta's saltiness ~ 1/4 teaspoon
1 handful of chopped pistachios
In a food processor, whirl rose petals, garlic, and salt until fine. Add ricotta and splash of rose water and blend for a minute. Spread in a shallow bowl, drizzle with honey and top with pistachios. Serve with crackers, grilled meat, or whatever else you think of! Goes great with a sparkling wine.