The sweet fragrance of lavender is refused by few. The fresh and calming aroma has been modified, impersonated, and oftentimes paired with just about any household scent we can imagine. But as we all know, or should know by now, ain’t nothing like the real thing. Although it’s flowers have the strongest scent, the leaves and the flowers may be used in my favorite way, served up and eaten.
Several years ago, I purchased a variety of decorations from a bride after her wedding. These slightly used item sales have always been one of my favorite ways to treasure hunt. Large welcoming signs, beautiful bowls or dishes, table clothes, utensils, you never knew exactly what surprises the boxes might contain.
This particularly glorious bride was kind enough to include in my bounty several large boxes of lavender flowers. She had given each guest a lovely small sheer bag filled with lavender. Guests also were given lavender to throw in place of rice, at the end of the celebration. It was a beautiful event. However, after the bride realized she had grossly overestimated the amount they would use, gifted the previous flower heads to me. I have never and probably will ever be in possession of so much lavender in my life. I immediately began brainstorming everything and anything lavender.
After adding the fragrant flower to ice cream, sugar cookies, ice cubes, syrups, butters, steaks, seafood; and yes, even sprinkled inside my pillow case or added to the bathtub, I ran out of the purple perennial. And believe it or not, I wish I had more of it. A whole lot more of it. Sometimes I even used the leaves in place of rosemary. This scrumptious accent gave dishes an unexpected flavor but also helped me when I was in a pinch.
Today. I have included a few of my favorite lavender recipes and they aren’t limited to food. The simple syrup, tea, and ice cubes are a delightful way to elevate even the simplest of get togethers. But you don’t need a guest to spoil yourself. An afternoon cup of lavender and lemon verbena tea with lavender filled ice cubes will give you a splash of the spoiling you deserve.
Good luck and enjoy!
Delicious with baked apples, apricots, peaches, blueberries yogurt & ice cream. I even enjoy a splash in my ice water or iced tea.
Makes 8 ounces
2 tsp dried lavender flowers
10 ounces fine sugar
zest of 2 lemons
Place lavender, sugar, and lemon zest into a sauce pan with 10 full ounces of water. Cook on medium heat and continuously stir until sugar dissolves. This should take about four minutes. Remove from heat.
Allow liquid to rest for about 30 minutes, stirring once after ten minutes and a second time after twenty minutes.
Place pan over medium heat and without stirring bring to a boil. Turn the heat to high and let bubble for about five minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat.
Once syrup has cooled, about five minutes, strain carefully into a bottle or jar of your choice. Use a cheesecloth, fine sieve, or preferred method of straining to remove cooked pieces of lavender. This step may be skipped if you don’t mind the pieces. They are edible and won’t hurt anything. It is up to the cook.
Allow to completely cool, seal and refrigerate. Use within four to six weeks.
Lavender & Lemon Verbena Tea
This scrumptious tea compliments a traditional lemony favorite and turns it into something really special. May be made iced or hot.
5 oz lemon verbena leaves, loosely torn
3 Tbsp lavender flower heads
1.3 liters of water
Sugar or honey, optional and amount is up to the cook
Tare up verbena leaves and place in a bowl. Add lavender and stir until thoroughly mixed. Place in a large teapot.
Pour water into a pot placed on the stovetop over high heat. Bring to a boil and then pour into a teapot or pitcher. Steep for at least five minutes.
Pour through strainer into cups. If you prefer iced tea, strain over ice. May be served individually or in a large teapot or pitcher.
Flower Ice Cubes
Pick edible flowers such as lavender and freeze them individually in ice cube trays. This allows them to be ready to use in drinks as an edible visual or ready to flavor syrups, custards, and various dishes.
Chopped or finely cut herbs freeze well. Pack them into an ice cube tray, fill with water, and freeze until solid. Place in plastic wrap and label. May be kept for about six months.
Delicious on broiled fish, steaks or herbs.
4 Tbsp finely chopped parsley, dill, and lavender.
Mix with ½ cup softened butter. Shape into a roll or place into a silicone mold. Wrap or roll in seran wrap. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut into slices or pop out of mold. May be used immediately, frozen for later, or refrigerated.