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Cooking with Lavender?

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Once again I'm stymied by my local CSA. I have a bunch of lavender fresh from the farm, and while it smells good, I'm not sold on how tasty it will be for dinner. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Oh, I *love* cooking savory and sweet dishes with lavender, although I've never had the good fortune to be able to use fresh. Many people don't like the flowery aroma, but when used judiciously, it can add quite a lovely fragrance and flavor.

    It's part of Herbs de Provence, so using it for a mix on a roasting chicken is great. Lavender Lemonade would be perfect for a summertime drink. Use it in baking - cakes, muffins, cookies, scones. Sorbets, ice cream are also well served.

    Here are some links I've had bookmarked forever:

    http://www.happyvalleylavender.com/la...
    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Lavend...
    http://www.lavenderlovers.com/recipes...
    http://www.joys-of-lavender.com/laven...
    http://lavenderfarms.net/hoodriverlav...
    http://www.napa-lavender.com/content/...

    Can you tell I love lavender? LOL!

    1 Reply
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Hey there, thanks for the tips!

    2. When I stew shortribs or similar, I usually add a bit of lavender in it with my herbs (like Herb de Provence). Lavender goes very well with strawberries and raspberries so add them into your ice cream/sorbet mixture. Last year I made a strawberry and lychee mousse and added some lavender into it for that extra oomph. No one could figure out the secret ingredient -)

      There's shortbread cookies that uses lavendar, that should be quite tasty.

      1. I use lavender greens the same way I use rosemary. It adds a lovely, subtly sweet flavor. The flowers I dry, grind with sugar and caramelize for Lavender Caramel Ice Cream, and for a lovely Lavender Syrup.

        1. "ExtraVeganZa" by Laura Matthias contains various recipes with lavender, mostly desserts.

          1. I use it with maple syrup, black pepper and salt when making cedar planked salmon. Also, I add it to shortbread but I think it would be good with any white cookie/cake.

            1. If you like to can, steeping the lavender in blueberry or peach jam is yummy. I'd just let it infuse and then proceed with the canning process. Alternatively, you could blitz some of the buds with the sugar you use, or just use the buds to infuse some sugar.

              I love lavender lemonade (make a tisane with the herb and then use that for the base in the lemonade) and lavender with white chocolate. A local herb farm sells oatmeal lace cookies brushed with white chocolate on the bottom and that chocolate is sprinkled with lavender buds--they are lovely with tea.

              Wouldn't it be fun to stuff a good chicken with lavender and thyme in a sort of deconstructed herbs de provence? Maybe butterfly it and do it on the grill?

              If you run out of time, just hang it loosely bunched upside down to dry, and use it dried.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Vetter

                I use it in a simple syrup for cocktails which is heavenly. Ice cream as well and a few stews and braises.

              2. Lavender honey! Easy to make and delicious

                1. Add a bit of lavender to the pastry cream for fresh fruit tarts. Lovely.

                  1. Lavender steeped in simple syrup + meyer lemon juice + h2o (or vodka if you're feeling sassy . . .) + lots of ice = lovely summer drink!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: operagirl

                      The other option is to infuse the vodka with the lavender. We normally get a gallon of good, but not premium, vodka, cut a large bunch of lavender from the garden, place it in a non-reactive, covered container, and pour the vodka over it. Allow to stand for 12-24 hours. Pour the infused vodka through a fine strainer.

                      Lavender-infused vodka lemonade is a house favorite, as is what we call a "Thomasina Collins" -- vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.

                      1. re: scory

                        Ooh, that sounds lovely! I'll bet that lavender vodka keeps better than simple syrup, too.

                    2. I've had the most wonderful beurre blanc heavy on the lavender that was part of the herbs d'Provence used in its making. Went with a nice piece of halibut.

                      1. I use dry lavendar a few times a year when baking special batches of double chocolate cookies. Use 1 tbsp of dry lavender per batch of your favourite cookie recipe and just mix it in when you mix your wet and dry ingredients. Be sure to grind the dry lavender in your mixer/coffee grinder first... the finer texture allows for a smoother finish to the cookie.

                        1. Lavender tastes great when sprinkled over roasted potatoes right near the end of cooking.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: AndrewK512

                            Are you sprinkling the flowers or the leaves? I am never sure what part of the lavender to consume!

                            Has anyone made lavender salt? I tried some at the Ferry Building farmers market but I'd run out of cash and am still kicking myself for not buying it.

                            1. re: tcamp

                              You use the lightly lavender colored flowers. And lavender salt is easy to make:

                              http://theherbgardener.blogspot.com/2... - this one says to use kosher salt, and this one says coarse sea salt: http://www.breakawaycook.com/FiveFlav...

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Thank you. The one I sampled was definitely made with coarse salt, maybe the sel gris. I'll give it a try.

                                1. re: tcamp

                                  I like the idea of a coarser salt (sel gris or Maldon) and using it as a finishing lavender salt as well.

                          2. I made this lavender creme brulee for New Year's Eve--it was a hit!
                            http://whatscookingamerica.net/LavCre...

                            So many nice ideas on this thread!

                            1. I make a Crisp Honey Duck - your basic crisp duck recipe, but rub it down with lavender, thyme and sea salt before cooking (if you have the liver, put it in the cavity while cooking), and five minutes before it's done, brush with honey. At that time, you can also remove said liver, mash it with some of the juices in the pan, red wine, and whatever leftover lavender/thyme you have and spread it on baguette slices. The skin comes out literally like candy and the whole thing is just exquisite. Probably our favorite dish to make ever.

                              Lavender pound cake drizzled lightly with lavender frosting is also incredible.

                              Fresh lavender tea is very relaxing, and I imagine would be even better iced, though I don't like iced drinks.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: thursday

                                Oh thanks, now I'm starving for crisp honey duck.

                              2. We made this recipe last summer, based on a combination of two recipes I found online. I just made it again today and took notes to make one recipe that tastes OH SO DELIGHTFUL--Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Lavender. Enjoy!
                                http://www.chow.com/recipes/26963

                                1. There is a lavender farm here in Nova Scotia, near Tatamagouche, where they sell wonderful salty-sweet lavender oatcakes. I had some last summer and I've been thinking of them ever since.

                                  1. Chocolate with lavender is a killer combo. In Norwalk, CT, Chocopologie Cafe's specialty hot drink is "Chocopologie with a delicious lavender foam on top (1/2 deep, rich hot chocolate and 1/2 espresso)." So, anyone with an espresso maker and a thing for lavender, give this a try! :)
                                    http://www.knipschildt.com/flash.html

                                    1. I roasted a chicken a few weeks back with an herb rub of lavender, oregano, and thyme. It was DELICIOUS!!!