Sorry for the length o this post but here are lavender recipes I did for woman’s Hour in 2007. I worked with Nigel Goodwill at his Lavender Farm in North Yorkshire for several years. We came up with lots of ways for using lavender. Now I live in the Gers, I am growing Lavender Stoechas (bunny ears) and Lavender Munstead up the drive. It was hard to cut the bed through the Gascon clay (not the best medium for growing lavender) but 3 years and a lot of digging later things are improving. Sarah
LAVENDER RECIPES FOR WOMAN’S HOUR
by Sarah Beattie
Lavender Poached Pears
150ml / 5fl oz white wine
150ml / 5fl oz water
100g / 3 oz sugar
a piece of lemon rind
a small bunch of lavender
6 pears, slightly under ripe
Combine everything except the pears in a flameproof casserole over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pare the pears thinly, keeping them whole and retaining the stalks. Stand upright in the hot syrup, cover and poach over a low heat until tender. Eat hot, warm or chilled.
Lavender Langues de Chat
50g / 2oz golden granulated sugar
1 tsp dried lavender
25g / 1oz plain flour
25g / 1oz unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6/ 400ºF /200º C. Whizz the sugar and lavender in a liquidiser, clean coffee grinder or food processor until well blended. Sieve into a bowl with the flour. Using a whisk, mix in the cooled melted butter and egg white, beating well to make a smooth batter.
Place teaspoonfuls, well-spaced, on the baking sheets. Spread each teaspoonful out to 5 cm / 2in long. Bake 5 minutes, until browning around the edges. Carefully transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
Lavender Salad with Grilled Goats’ Cheese
2 tbs raspberry vinegar
4 tbs light olive oil
1 tsp dried lavender
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp caster sugar
2 ripe avocados
100g / 3 ½ oz small strawberries, hulled and diced
150g / 5oz rocket leaves
4 x 1cm / ½” slices of chevre (goats’ cheese in a log shape)
4 x 1cm / ½” slices brioche, toasted
Mix together the vinegar and oil. In a pestle and mortar, grind the lavender, salt and sugar. Mix into the oil and vinegar. Peel and dice the avocados. Mix together with the strawberries and dressing. Line 4 small plates with rocket leaves.
Place the goats’ cheese on top of the brioche and place under a hot grill. Toast until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
Put a piece of cheese-topped brioche in the centre of each plate. Surround with the avocado and strawberries. Serve immediately.
Cucumber & Lavender Agrodolce (Jenny Murray was particularly keen on this - she said post-chemo dry mouth was relieved by its fresh tangy juiciness)
½ cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tbs runny honey – eg Acacia
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1 very small red chilli, finely chopped
½ tsp dried lavender
a generous grinding of black pepper
Put the cucumber in a bowl. Warm all the other ingredient together in a small pan, stirring well until just simmering. Turn off the heat and pour over the cucumber, mixing well. Cool and then chill.
Lavender & Blueberry Cheesecake
This is the simplest form of cheesecake – just a crushed biscuit crust, cream cheese and a blueberry compote – but the lavender lifts it to something special.
25g / 1oz butter
1 tbs light muscovado sugar
125g / 4oz wholewheat “digestive” biscuits, crushed
250g / 8oz “light” cream cheese
1 tbs lavender sugar – see langues de chat
100g / 3 ½ oz blueberries
1 tsp lavender flowers
1 tbs castor sugar
Melt the butter and muscovado sugar together. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Press evenly into the base of a 15cm / 6in loose bottomed cake tin. Chill.
Beat together the cream cheese and lavender sugar. Pile onto the biscuit base and level. Chill.
Wash and drain the blueberries. Put in a small covered pan with the lavender flowers and castor sugar. Cook over a low heat until the berries pop. Take off the lid and turn up the heat to reduce until thick. Cool then spread over the cream cheese. Chill well.
To unmold, round a warm dry knife around the edge of the tin. Stand on a tin and slip off the sides.
Other ideas for cooking with Lavender:
with lamb, in sausages
on new potatoes