You've probably heard about the avocado rose—it's been blowing up Instagram forever—but did you know you can "rose" lots of other fruits and veggies too? Yes, swirling fruits and vegetables into flower shapes might sound ridiculous and supremely complicated, but it's not as hard as it looks, and will win you raves (not just "likes") at dinner parties or weekday meals at home. First, grab the ingredient of your choice: Think cantaloupe, mango, honeydew, cucumber, carrot; the possibilities are endless, as long as you have some patience and a very sharp knife. Then follow our tips and tricks below on how to "rose" your food, and wow your guests and your social feeds, or even just yourself!
How to Rose:
If you're rose-ing a cucumber, for example, this is what you do: Shave the cucumber peel off, leaving a smooth surface to work with. Discard peels. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, cut long strips of cucumber about 1/16" thick, and however long your cucumber allows. Don't worry about the top and bottom edges of each strip, as long as the lengths of the "petals" of your rose look tidy. Lay the strips down onto your working surface, overlapping about 1". The longer your chain of petals, the bigger the rose. Starting from one end, tightly roll up the line of cucumber until you get a spiral shape. Keep rolling to secure the resulting "rose" and serve it on a salad, toast, or other preferred dish. This method can also work with evenly cut strips of cantaloupe, mango, avocado, honeydew, or carrot.
Pick Your Best Fruit or Vegetable
Fruits or veggies with a naturally slick surface (like melons, mangoes and avocados) are easiest to use when creating raw food roses. Foods with stiffer, more fibrous surfaces can also be "rose’d", but you'll need a different approach. Thin ribbons of zucchini or yellow squash, for instance, can be sliced using a vegetable peeler, then displayed in cups by arranging the slices layer by layer. You can also bake squash roses in muffin tins for a beautiful twist on roasted vegetables.
Use The Sharpest Knife Possible
Be sure to use a knife you feel comfortable with, but one that is the sharpest in your set. Have your knives sharpened every few months, or keep a knife sharpener handy for when your knife is feeling dull.
Prevent Browning With Lemon Juice
While a lemon doesn’t make for an ideal food rose, it does help with preventing brown spots from forming on your fruit while you arrange it. Use a pastry brush to gently apply lemon juice to fruits such as avocado and melon. For added flavor, you can also use lime juice or citric acid mixed with water.
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