Cooking with Lavender
Although lavender is commonly thought of as a flower it is actually a herb and there are a multitude of ways to use it in the kitchen.
Lavender gives food an earthy flavor while adding a subtle floral note. While its best used in baked goods such as scones and breads it can also be an excellent addition in savory cooking.
Lavender works best in savory dishes that require rosemary and can be either used with it or as a replacement.
The buds of lavender can also be used to scent sugar, tea, lemonades and cocktails.
Besides the amazing taste that lavender offers it is also extremely therapeutic and is known for its calming effects. Lavender is very relaxing and can be used therapeutically to relieve stress and anxiety.
The best way to utilize lavender for its therapeutic benefits would be steeped in a tea along with other relaxing herbs such as chamomile.
If you have ever thought to experiment with lavender here are a few simple recipes to get you started:
Use the whole bud of about 2-3 culinary grade lavender flowers. Lightly crush them in the palm of your hand to release the oils and place them in a clean jar along with 2-3 cups of white sugar. Leave in a cool, dry place and allow the lavender to infuse into the sugar for about a week. You can also add a vanilla bean to make lavender-vanilla sugar. Use like regular sugar.
There is something magical about the combination of lavender and lemon. Simply bring 2 cups of water to the boil along with 1 cup of sugar. Once the sugar is nearly dissolved, remove from the heat and add 2-3 whole culinary lavender buds. Cover and allow the mix to sit for about 1-2 hours.
Strain the syrup and then stir in about 2 cups of cold water, 1 cup of lemon juice and some ice. Serve.
You can also use the lavender syrup to flavor cocktails – lavender works particularly well with gin and vodka.
A great way to incorporate lavender into savory dishes is to combine it with salt. Simply take 1 cup of finely ground pink Himalayan rock salt or sea salt and add 2-3 tsp of chopped lavender buds. Toss together. Store in a glass jar.
Best used as a rub on chicken, turkey and white fish.
Soften 1 stick or 8tbs of butter. Add 1 tps of chopped lavender buds and beat together till butter is fluffy. Place onto plastic wrap and roll up into a log or place the butter into a mold. Refrigerate till firm.
Take a regular scone recipe as found here-Devonshire Tea and then add 1-2 tsp of lavender buds to the dough. Cut into rounds and bake as usual.
Add either chopped lavender buds or lavender syrup to freshly whipped cream. Pairs excellently with chocolate or vanilla cakes and even apple pie.
Place 2-3 whole lavender flowers into 2 cups of honey. Seal in an air-tight glass jar and allow the lavender to infuse into the honey for about a week. You can remove the lavender after the week or keep in the glass for a stronger flavor. Can be used to sweeten teas, spread on bread or in desserts.
As you can see the list of culinary uses for lavender is endless. You can also try these recipes here: