Lavender is an essential part of French cooking and is a beautiful ingredient that can be used for every part of a meal. Here is our pick of the ten best lavender recipes that you can make at home and bring gourmet France into your own dining room.
1. Homemade Lavender Sorbet
1 cup refined sugar
2 cups of water
1 tbsp lavender flowers
2 ½ tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps vodka
Method:Combine sugar and water in medium heat to simmer till the sugar dissolves. To this add the lavender buds and bring to boil. Simmer for another 5 minutes and finally let it rest for 10 minutes. Sieve the mix over a fine strainer and add vodka and lemon juice. You can use a different spirit if you want as the spirit will help maintain the consistency of the sorbet without freezing itself.Pour it into a container and let it stay in the freezer. When it is semi solid then mash it up again and refreeze. Finally put it through a fine blender and store till u serve. This will make up to 8-10 serves.
2. Homemade Lavender Creme Brulee
4 cups full cream
1 tbsp dried lavender buds
8 yolks of egg
3/4th cup refined sugar
Method:Preheat oven and grease six custard cups. Set these into a glass baking dish. Separately in another pan simmer cream and lavender buds and then take it off flame to infuse in the heat for roughly 5 minutes. Now strain the cream from lavender buds.
In another mixing bowl whisk the eggs and sugar and blend in the cream slowly. Then divide the mix into the custard cups. Now prepare a water-bath to cook the mixture in and fill it up to half the height of the custard cups. Bake for 60 minutes at 175 degree Fahrenheit. Keep checking the cups so that they are not over cooked. Once done remove from the water-bath and let it cool for 2 hours. Sprinkle some sugar on top and torch it before serving. Cool it for 10 more minutes and then serve.
3. Chicken Herbes De Provence
4 chicken breasts: boneless and with skin
3/4th cup of olive oil: extra virgin variant
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
Method:Herbes de Provence is an assortment of herbs that is essentially used in French cooking. It is a combination of fennel, basil, lavender, marjoram, thyme, sage and rosemary. This is a very popular French dish with dominance of aromatics.
Start by marinating the meat in the herbes de Provence combined with olive oil. Do this in room temperature for up to 20 minutes. Preheat the oven and bake it till the juices run clear when cut with a knife tip roughly for another 25-30 minutes. Serve hot for a sumptuous meal.
4. Lavender, Peach and Feta Salad
3 cups of romaine lettuce nicely shredded
1 onion sliced in rings
2-4 tbsps on crumbled feta
2 peaches sliced and lightly grilled
4tbsps lime juice
5tbsps olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 tsp mustard
1tsp lavender buds
1 clove of garlic minced
2tbsps balsamic vinegar
Method:Start with the dressing by adding lime juice, lavender, salt, mustard and vinegar into a bowl and whisk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil when you whisk. Finally steep the onions in the dressing to take out its sting. Now on a bed of lettuce place the peaches and then the feta cheese topped with lavender buds. Pour the dressing right before you serve.
5. Lavender-Scented Summer Fruit Salad
2 tbsp honey
3/4th tsp dried lavender flowers
1/8th tsp black pepper freshly ground
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 sliced peach
1 sliced plum
1 sliced pear
3 cups of assorted berries of your choice
Hand full of mint leaves
A pinch of salt to taste
Method:On medium heat simmer honey, lavender, pepper and salt in 1/3rd cup of water, till the honey dissolves. Let it steep for a few minutes and then stir in some lime juice and sieve out the now wilted lavender buds. Add the fruits and berries and gently toss them. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
6. Orange & Sage Vodka Tonic
1 sage broad leaf
3 ounces vodka
6 ounces Orange Juice
2 orange slices
1 ½ ounces of Lavender syrup
Method:In a pint glass muddle up the oranges, sage and lavender syrup to form a base, to which add orange juice and vodka. Serve chilled.
7. Lavender Mojito
6-10 mint leaves
1 ½ ounces of lavender syrup
1 ½ ounces of white rum
Juice of 1 lime and a lime wedge for garnish
Clear soda as required
Method:In an old fashioned pint glass make a base with the mint and lavender syrup. Add rum and lime juice and fill up the glass with ice. Then top it off with clear soda and garnish with a lemon wedge.
8. Lavender-Laced Grilled Salmon
2-4 large cloves of garlic: finely chopped
2 tsps fresh lavender flower buds
1/4th cup soy sauce
3 tbsps honey
3 tbsps lemon juice
1/3rd cup olive oil
2 tbsps sesame oil
4 salmon fillets
Method:Mash together the garlic and lavender. Separately whisk in the other liquid ingredients together. Add the mix the two together and let the salmons sit in it for marinating for about half an hour. Before serving grill the fish, skin side down, for about 8-12 minutes till the flesh is opaque and flaky. Pour some steeped lavender water to the grill coal to infuse camphor like aromatic around the fish. This portion serves 4 people.
9. Lavender and Orange Salad
3 oranges: sliced with pith and without membrane
1tsp freshly chopped lavender flowers
3tsp red wine vinegar
1 small onion nicely chopped
Method:Toss all the ingredients into a salad bowl with a hint of olive oil. This portion serves for two people and is a great appetizer for a colourful winter meal.
10. Lavender Cookies
1 tea cup of butter
½ tea cup of sugar
A few pinches of salt
2 tea cups of fine flour
Method:Form the batter like you would for a cake with a wooden spoon and let the dough chill. Meanwhile preheat the oven. Bring out the settled dough and roll it in lavender sugars that are available over the counter or can be home made from scratch. Grease up the cookie moulds and bake for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy oven fresh cookies with an inviting cup of coffee.