Lavender, that soothing herb most closely associated with spa treatments and sachets is increasingly making appearances on the grocery shelf. Products ranging from lavender-infused honey to chocolates, teas and more are being marketed across the board, and for good reason.
From desserts to savory dishes, lavender the aromatic member of the mint family, adds a fresh, slightly sweet flavor to any food.
June marks the launch of lavender festivals from east to west, the Spice Hunter celebrates this periwinkle marvel known for its soothing properties by offering the following tips for using lavender as an herb:
–Create a sweet lavender sugar to top cakes and desserts like crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e. Add 2 Tbsp dried lavender to one cup of sugar and store in a sealed container for 1-2 weeks. Sift before using.
–Substitute dried lavender for rosemary in any recipe. Lavender bread? Yes!
–Use in grilling salmon, chicken or lamb (see recipes below).
–Dress a salad with a sweet and tangy honey, lavender and mustard combination (see recipe below).
–Rub it on create a simple spice rub for any meat using 2 Tbsp ground black pepper, 3 Tbsp garlic powder, 3 Tbsp salt and 1-1/2 Tbsp ground lavender.
Lavender also is one of the key ingredients in Herbes de Provence, an essential blend useful for creating savory chicken dishes perfect for summer picnics and family events.
The Spice Hunter produces an extensive line of herbs, spices, blends, grilling spices, sea salts and organic spice varieties.
Recipe – Lavender Salmon
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. The Spice Hunter Lavender, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
5 basil leaves, finely chopped
Black pepper to taste
1 lb. salmon (steaks or fillets)
Saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add salmon to the pan, reduce heat to low, spoon sauce over top and cover until salmon is flaky, about 10 minutes. Pour remaining sauce over the salmon and serve. Serves 4
Recipe – Balsamic Lavender Leg of Lamb
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Lavender
2 tsp. The Spice Hunter Rosemary
1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Thyme
1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Coarse Black Pepper
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (2 lb.) leg of lamb
Combine all ingredients in a large ziploc bag and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place lamb in a casserole dish with 1/2 cup of water, pour remaining marinade over top and bake for 30 minutes for medium rare meat. Serves 4-6
Recipe – Lavender and Honey Salad Dressing
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 crushed garlic clove
1 Tbsp coarse grain mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Spice Hunter dried French Lavender
Whisk all ingredients together. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow flavors to infuse. Whisk again and serve. This dressing will store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Adapted from Sonoma Lavender Festival recipes.
Recipe – Grilled Chicken Breast with Herbes de Provence
2 whole chicken breasts, halved, boned, skinned and butterflied
1/2 c. olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp Spice Hunter Herbes de Provence
Marinate chicken in mixture of herbs, lemon juice and oil for at least an hour. Heat half of the marinade in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute for 2 minutes on each side.