Lavender, apart from looking great in the garden, is an incredibly versatile herb for cooking. Edible fresh flowers made a bit of a comeback Recently as enhancements to both the flavor and appearance of food in restaurants.
As an herb, the use of lavender has been documented for over 2,500 years. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and peoples of Arabia used lavender for embalming and perfume. The Greeks and Romans bathed Lavender scented water It is from the Latin word “lavo” which means “to wash” the herb took its name.
As a member of the same family as many of our most popular Mediterranean herbs, I am happy to see that they are slowly making a comeback in our kitchens because their sweet, floral flavor and citrus undertones can add an interesting note to so many dishes. Rosemary can also be substituted in many delicious recipes and the flowers look beautiful and also taste good in a glass of cava or champagne.
Lavender works well with chocolate and as a garnish for sherbet or ice cream. It’s also perfect for adding a mysterious scent to it Custard or pancakes or panna cotta.
An easy way to cook with lavender is simply to create a file lavender sugar. Take a clean coffee grinder and put the lavender flower buds with 3-4 tablespoons of sugar. Grind them together until a fine sugar is formed. This breaks down the lavender buds and releases their essential oils into the sugar. Store this scented sugar in an airtight container in a cool place for year-round use.
Chocolate and lavender tart
Rich in chocolate and lavender, this tart works well with red fruits and vanilla ice cream. If you can’t find lavender flowers, you can substitute a sprig of fresh rosemary or a few green cardamom pods. Sometimes I make this tart with eucalyptus and it’s also a delicious alternative.
Ingredients serve 6-8
120 grams plain flour
60 grams powdered sugar
50g chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon cold water
a pinch of salt
to fill in:
180 gm chopped dark chocolate
100 gm butter
80g plain flour
140 grams of sugar
6 whole eggs
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
To prepare the sweet pastries:
Place the butter, flour, and salt in a food processor and blend until they resemble breadcrumbs.
We add sugar, cold water and eggs and whisk again, just enough to incorporate the eggs.
Scrape the dough and mix it gently until it comes together to form a cohesive dough.
Cover with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, to a thickness of 3 mm.
Line a 23cm tart ring with the dough and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 (180°C fan)
Pierce the base of the pastry with a fork, line the pastry tin with a circle of baking paper or tin foil, and fill it with breadcrumbs.
Bake the pastries for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, then remove the foil and beans and return the tart to the oven to soften for another 3-4 minutes.
to fill in:
Gently heat the butter, lavender flowers, and chocolate in a medium skillet over low heat and stir until melted and soft.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and flour. Beat the eggs, one at a time, passing through a fine sieve. Place the pastry tray on a baking tray.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the pastry tin, fill on top and place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
Take it out of the oven and leave it to cool. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, cut into portions and serve with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries.
Strawberry infused with passion fruit and lavender custard
Ingredients: Serves 4
500g fresh strawberries (cut into quarters)
100 ml orange juice
Juice and peel of one lemon
1 tbsp. sugar
1 passion fruit, juice and seeds
Mix the ingredients together and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
6 egg yolks
150 ml cream
150 ml milk
1 teaspoon lavender flowers
Bring the cream and milk to a boil with the lavender flowers. Broadcasts for at least 10 minutes.
Beat egg yolks with sugar, pour cream and flowers.
Return to stove, stirring constantly, until mixture covers the back of a spoon. Do not boil.
Once the mixture begins to thicken a little, remove from the heat. Pass it through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
To serve, place strawberries in 4 tall glasses, and pour over a little lavender custard.
Roasted peaches with lavender caramel and cream caramel
Ingredients Serves 4
4 large organic peaches, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
80 ml pure honey
2.3 sprigs of fresh lavender flowers
Grated zest from one lemon
4 tablespoons of fresh cream
Preheat oven to 200°C / gas 6
Cover an ovenproof baking dish with a little butter. Arrange the peaches on the baking tray, sliced upwards.
Sprinkle honey over the peach and add the lavender flowers and lemon peel.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, and put the lavender caramel from the baking dish on the peaches. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until peaches are tender and golden.
Put a spoonful of fresh cream on the warm peaches and sprinkle with the remaining lavender caramel. Feet it right away.