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Summer Red Fruits with Rose and Cardamom

Serves 6

© by Ola O. Smit

The simplest preparation — a blueprint more than a recipe as you can take both the fruits and the aromatics in many directions. See the switches below for spice and botanical combinations that will all amplify the sweet-floral notes in summer berries. The key is using a little sugar to draw the full flavour out of your chosen spice and helping to distribute it evenly. Leaving the cherries and strawberries to macerate briefly creates a puddle of fragrant, lipstick-red syrup.


  • Red Cherries 350 g, pitted
  • Strawberries 350 g, hulled
  • Green Cardamom 4 pods
  • Golden Castor Sugar 1-3 Tbs
  • Finely Grated Zest and Juice of a small lemon
  • Organic Unsprayed Fresh Rose Petals a handful (optional)

Make It

  1. Tear most of the cherries in half, leaving a few whole. Quarter the strawberries. Tumble all the fruit into a large bowl.
  2. Grind the seeds from the cardamom with a little of the sugar into a powder using a pestle and mortar. Stir in the remaining sugar, adjusting the amount according to the sweetness of your fruit.
  3. Toss the spiced sugar, lemon zest, and juice with the fruit, then gently turn through half the rose petals. Leave to macerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the fruits and their sweet red juices to a serving dish. Scatter with the remaining rose petals.

Spice Switch
In place of the cardamom and rose petals, you could try any of the following:

  • Lightly toasted and ground coriander seeds with elderflower petals
  • Black pepper and a chiffonade of basil
  • Fennel pollen, brown sugar, and a couple of pinched lavender flowers
  • Confetti of cracked pink peppercorns and garden mint
  • Crushed passion berries and lime zest
  • Ground grains of paradise and lemon zest
Recipe excerpted from A Whisper of Cardamom: 80 Sweetly Spiced Recipes to Fall in Love With © 2024 by Eleanor Ford. Photography © 2024 by Ola O. Smit. With permission of Apollo Publishers.