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Lavender: not just good lookin'

Sure, lavender is gorgeous to look at, smell and generally gawk at (Tightwad does, anyway) but how about eat? Tightwad loves the stuff. Thinking about it has her imagining herself cycling around the French countryside on her bicyclette with a stripey top and a basket of baguette, vino and fromage.
Lavender is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking. Flowers and leaves can be used fresh, both buds and stems can be used fresh and dried. Lavender is a member of the mint family and is close to rosemary, sage and thyme, and is best used with those herbs, and fennel, oregano and savory. Lavender has a sweet floral flavour, with lemon and citrus notes, which makes it an ideal companion for a number of dishes.
Some tips when cooking with lavender: make sure you get the organic, culinary grade (unsprayed), and like most herbs, use a only a 1/3 of what is called for in a recipe if you are using dried, because dried herbs are more potent. The pulse mode on your food processor will bring out the strongest flavours of lavender, but remember - the key to cooking with it is to experiment. If you put too much in your dish will taste perfumey and bitter. Don't let this scare you! Tightwad had compiled some gorgeous lavender-related recipes from the bloggasphere.

Happy Valley Farms lavender-lemon verbana cake
Roost apricot and lavender fruit leather
2 Stews lavender honey grilled chicken
Baked Bree lemon lavender pots de creme
Andrea Meyers strawberry lavender lemonade
Citron et Vanille lavender cod with grilled fennel and potato salad, roasted tomato
The Foreign Kitchen spaghetti with chanterelles and lavender
Chez Us ham with a lavender honey thyme glaze and gratin of potatoes and tomatoes


Aunt Bee's Garden said...

I want to be in that picture!! Also, lavender oil is the best thing for a burn. Takes the redness and pain away immediately. If I have a sunburn I put a few drops in my bath. For a kitchen burn I put a few drops right on it.

Aunt Bee's Garden said...

BTW-I'm giving away a blog make over if you know anyone who might be interested (not you, of course, yours is very cute already).

LisaDay said...

That picture makes me also want to ride a bike but with hot chocolate, chocolate and bread.


Pattycake Manners said...

Hello! Just stopping by from the blog party.
Love this post!! And what a beautiful photo!
I have a great recipe for lavender shortbread if anyone is interested! It's a family favorite, and I even served them at my wedding shower.

alicia said...

Beautiful photo and tips! Happy Friday!

Gigi said...

Thanks for coming by Friday Flipoffs. We just started growing lavender and these would be great recipes to try out!

G.~ said...

I love, love, love lavender, but I had a sadly failed attempt at growing it this year.

How do you fail at growing lavender you ask?

I could kill a cactus. And I have as a matter of fact, but I keep trying. I never thought that plants would be so hard to grow and keep happy and alive.

Beautiful picture by the way and the vision you created of riding your bicyclette was simply divine.

Stopping by from TLB Tea Party.

Me said...

How funny. I grew lavender in my herb garden and thought it looked and smelled great, I didn't know what to do with it.

Great blog! I found you via the Lady Bloggers Tea Party.


Sheri said...

I love lavender as well. The smell just calms me. I tried growing it this year. It grew, but not as nice as pictured here.

You have a wonderful blog.

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