Uses for Dried Lavender
Can anyone suggest some uses or recipes that use dried lavender?
I purchased it in a 4 ounce bag which is quite a lot. So far my only uses have been in adding it to tapioca pudding and to poached apples. Both were good. I also plan to use it in Creme brulee. But some other suggestions would be welcome.
I've seen recipes for both lavender muffins and lavender shortbread. I use lavender salt when I'm making beef stew (along the lines of herbes de provence, but just lavender plus salt), so you could crush a small amount of lavender and sea salt together. I also like it sprinkled, lightly, over salads.
Along the some lines as the Herbes-De-Provence concept, an excellent restaurant in San Francisco specializing in French small plates (tapas style dining with an emphasis on French styles) uses lavender as a seasoning for lamb chops. I assume that the chops are seasoned with an Herbes-De-Provence type mixture *without* lavender before grilling (I couldn't taste it - and it is rather distinctive), but lavender is served alongside the chops as a condiment to crush with the fingertips and sprinkle on the chops - allowing one to control the amount of lavender flavor. The lavender may have been mixed with a bit of sea salt as well. The effect is unusual and interesting - many people will probably prefer rather small amounts of the lavender as it can be overwhelming and perfume-like if over-used.
I have a jar of a lavender and sea salt mixture that I bought at the Farmers Market in San Francsico that I have used in small amounts in a simple marinade for lamb chops at home (olive oil, crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, lavendar/sea salt) which has been rather successful.
It is nice in a buttery shortbread cookie w/ a lemon glaze (or lemon zest in the dough) to balance the floral perfume. I don't like to use too much lavendar, as I'll feel like I'm eating lotion or a bar of soap.
You can also make lavendar sugar much like vanilla sugar. Just toss some sugar w/ whole stems and let infuse for a while. You could use it in tea, to sprinkle on muffins or cookies, etc.
re: Carb Lover
I have to agree with you that a little lavender goes a long way. I'd rather not have so much that I identify the floral.
Your thought about a lemon glaze on lavender scented shortbread sounds like a wonderful pairing! I think I would make them with the lavender infused sugar rather than the buds and perhaps mount a single bud on the center of the glaze.
re: Carb Lover
Oooh, that does sound good! I just remembered that I've bookmarked two recipes that look nice:
The New Homemaker's Lavender Cookies:
Epicurious' Lavender Lemon Tea Bread
Search Epicurious for more interesting lavender recipes.
Here is my herbs de provence beer can chicken recipe. Use the the following blend instead in order to incorporate your dried lavender;
Dry Herb blend for beer can chicken with 3 1/2 lb whole chicken:
1 tablespoon of Greek or Italian oregano
2 tablespoons of Rosemary
1 tablespoon of lavender
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
Here's my Beer can chicken recipe using the “herb’s de provence” combination of herbs. Be sure to rub the herbs thoroughly between your hands before applying them. High quality dry herb’s makes a huge difference...cheap herbs are usually old and flavorless. Don't forget to soak your favorite wood chips for 30 minutes.
HERBS DE PROVENCE BEER CAN CHICKEN: Get your grill heated to 375 degree’s. Beer can chicken stands are available but not necessary. I found a great beer can stand at Menards home center for $2.98. The weber one is about $30.
Approximately 3.5lb whole chicken
3-5 tablespoon’s of herb’s de provence
kosher salt to taste
3- tablespoons (or more...careful not to use too much, It could catch on fire. Use just enough olive oil so it’s not dripping all over) of extra virgin olive oil-works best because of it’s low burning point. Makes skin really crispy.
Fresh ground pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: Baby Yukon potatoes. Wash and dry then rub olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Then add potatoes on baking sheet under chicken for last 45 minutes or until soft.
Wash and dry chicken thoroughly inside and out.
Rub olive oil all over bird inside and out
Rub kosher salt inside and out to taste and finally pepper
Rub herb’s de provence all over inside and out
1⁄2 of a beer in the can (you can’t waste the other half so you must drink it)
Place the bird over the can on a baking sheet/pan on the grill and prop up the legs in front of the bird. Make sure burner is off directly under bird.
Close grill lid and cook for 45 minutes before checking. Adjust temperature if needed when bird appears to be burning (not likely). Cook another 15-25 minutes or until juice from bird is clear.
When bird is done, remove from grill and cover with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving
Please report back with your results.
Alex Moncada. email@example.com
Definitely Herbes de Provence, although I don't add as many of the herbs as Kelli's list - I usually use rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and savory, along with crushed fennel seeds, if I have them.
It's wonderful mixed with lemon zest, minced garlic, salt, and pepper and rubbed into a roast chicken. Or make a lavender infusion to use in lemonade. Scones. Vinaigrette.
For other uses, check out these sites - they've got great recipes. (I have more links at home I can post tonight.)
Oooh! I hope you get some interesting answers. I wasn't lucky enough to find 4oz. I had to take a whole pound to make some ice cream (I'll get you that recipe if you like). It was, basically, warm the cream just short of a boil, stir in the lavender and let it infuse for 15 minutes then strain it out and use the cream as called for for vanilla ice cream.
As a caution, I was pretty apprehensive about the color of the cream after it was infused, but when combined with all the other ingredients, the color was fairly imperceptible.
I would guess the same warm infusion thing would work for any application of cream such as créme brulée. I also have a recipe for shortbread cookies with powdered tea (not macha powder but actual Earl Grey tea leaves whirled to a powder). I can't see why that wouldn't work with lavender too. But, based on what I got when I first tried whirling it in my coffee grinder, I'd scrape away any green parts where the visual aesthetic counts.
I also sewed some whole buds into a little cotton pouch and put it in a small jar of sugar. And I whirled some into a fine powder (that first batch I didn't take the time to purge the leaves) and mixed it with epsom salts for an aromatic bath.
Oh, you can boil the dried buds in water, strain it out and use that scented water for a simple sugar syrup too. But I'm not sure how to, then, use the syrup....
Oooh, I made some lavender syrup a few weeks ago. It's really good in lemonade.
And it's fabulous in a Lavender Martini (really just a cocktail), and looks pretty, too - you can see a light purple tint in the drink. I used vodka, a splash of Cointreau, several splashes of lavender syrup, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Yum!