Potent, beautiful, and instantly recognizable, lavender envelopes your senses with ooooh, and can be used in everything from the most delicate desserts to exquisite pastas, and as an accent in wine sauces or Herbs de Provence.
1 oz./ 28 g
Here’s a trivia moment for your next big food geek night: Lavender isn’t really lavender: It’s actually Lavandula, a flowering plant in the mint family. People decorate all the time with these pretty pastel purple flowers, but, cook with them?!
You betcha! Lavender has a legendary aroma that lends itself beautifully to both sweet and savory dishes, and rocks the house incorporated into pasta.
Lavender is definitely a “less is more” ingredient, unless you want your dish to taste more like a soap than a lightly lavender-scented sopapilla, for example. It adds aroma, visually, and tactilely, the buds, sprinkled over a steamed fish with a tarragon butter drizzle is off-the-charts good. You’ll find it also adds aroma and flavor to anything sweet, so cakes, icings, etc. can seem a bit more extravagant with a lavender finish.
Lavender grows in temperate climates from Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to southeast India. Culinary lavender is largely the English species of Lavender (l. angustifolia and munstead), although it is grown outside of the United Kingdom in Europe and North America as a commercial culinary product.
Culinary lavender has been in use at least as far back as the 15th century in Europe. Queen Elizabeth I was partial to both a preserve (conserve) and a tea made from lavender.
Lavender species are not toxic, BUT please do not harvest fresh lavender from your garden unless you are:
Always use lavender sparingly. The essential oils in the buds are quite potent and can turn your food bitter or more unpleasantly soapy if you use too much.
Dried lavender should be used at 1/3 the level of a recipe calling for fresh.