Lavender Tangerine Mimosas
Garlicky Lavender-Curry Hummus with Baked Pita Chips
Spinach Salad with Baked Goat Cheese & Lavender-Lemon Vinaigrette
Lavender Crab Cakes with Creamy Honey-Mustard Sauce
Lavender Couscous with Artichoke Hearts & Pine Nuts
Lavender-Honey Ice Cream
Lavender Sugar Cookies
In a post from January, 2008, I admitted that I love eating lavender, thanks to my friend Sue, who introduced me to lavender "better butter" a few years ago. As I wrote in my Christmas Cookie post, if you've never eaten lavender-laced food, you must try it.
Lavender makes fragrant and tasty breads, drinks, and desserts like cookies, cakes, or custards. It goes particularly well with chocolate or green veggies. I like lavender mixed with melted butter then used as a dip for steamed artichokes and sprinkled on roasted asparagus or sauteed peas.
photo from Winding Brook Estate
According to What's Cooking America: Flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried. Lavender is a member of the mint family and is close to rosemary, sage, and thyme. It is best used with fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.
English lavender has the sweetest fragrance of all the lavenders and is the most commonly used in cooking. [...] Lavender has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes. The potency of the lavender flowers increases with drying. In cooking, use 1/3 the quantity of dried flowers to fresh.
Note: Adding too much lavender to your recipe can be like eating perfume and will make your dish bitter. [...] A little goes a long way.
You can buy lavender from upscale spice shops like Penzey's or The Spice House. I ordered a large container of dried lavender from Amazon, but when I searched there today, I didn't find any. If you live in the St. Louis area, you can harvest your own lavender at Winding Brook Estate Farm in Eureka, Missouri. They are harvesting through October 25 and are open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10-4.
Lavender-Honey Ice Cream
photo from foodrambler
Makes about 4 cups
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon lavender buds
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste
10 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, honey, lavender, and 3/4 cup of the cream. Heat, stirring often, until small bubbles start to foam around the edge. DO NOT BOIL. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks & sugar. Beat until the mixture is a lightly lemony yellow.
Slowly beat in the milk mixture. Pour back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain into a medium bowl. Stir in the vanilla & remaining cream. Chill before freezing in an ice cream machine.