Strawberry-Rose-Fennel Shrimp Roll-ups

Recipe from Khris Hogg, owner of Perennial Cider Bar in Belfast, ME.

This interesting dish you eat with your hands uses just a few simple ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh rose petals, or ½ cup dried
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 head fennel, with fronds
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries
  • ½ lb raw baby shrimp (scallops work, too)
  • 1 cup mayo, strained yogurt, or farmer’s cheese
  • 1 head lettuce

A day or two before: Place rose petals in a pint jar and fill with cider vinegar. Let sit at least overnight. You can make this further in advance—it’s an excellent pantry item on its own.

To make the fruit leather: Cut off fennel fronds and set them aside. Slice the bulb lengthwise, toss with oil and salt, and roast face down at 350° until browned and soft, about 35 minutes. Chop and purée, removing any tough outer pieces. Purée berries until smooth, then mix with fennel purée and 1 cup of finely chopped fronds.

Spread mixture about ⅛" thick on a sheet pan lined with wax paper, and place in a dehydrator, solar cooker, or very low oven (140°) for about 10–12 hours. (We smoke the purée with a smoke gun before dehydrating. This optional step develops a deeper flavor from the fruit. Without a smoke gun, you could put the purée in a stainless-steel bowl and set it to the side of your charcoal grill for 5–10 minutes. Or try grilling the whole fruit before puréeing.) When the leather is done, peel it off the wax paper and set aside.

An hour or two before serving: Prepare a brine—for 1 c. rose-petal vinegar, add 2 Tbsp water and a pinch of salt. Add the baby shrimp to the brine. Cover and refrigerate.

Assemble the roll-ups: Cut fruit leather into 4" squares (or whatever size/shape you want). Spread 1 tsp mayo on the leather. Stack 2 lettuce leaves torn to fit. Spread ½ tsp mayo on the top lettuce leaf. Finish with 1 Tbsp cured shrimp, roll it up, and repeat. Arrange on a plate and enjoy!