Lavender – The 4 Corners of the Kitchen Lavender is a, well, less conventionally used ingredient. In fact, you may have never thought to use it for culinary purposes. However, its uses date back over 2,500 years ago to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and it has maintained its popularity because of its subtle and soothing scent. Queen Elizabeth I loved it so much that she required that lavender conserve (jelly) be on the royal table at all times. Culinary uses of lavender range from sweet to savory. It can be used to enhance cakes, cheeses, meats, and teas, and can be infused in syrups, jams, and honeys. If you’re wondering what to pair it with, lavender goes wonderfully with citrus, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. You can use it picked fresh from your garden or bought dried from the store (most whole food stores carry it dried); however, make sure that you don’t use lavender grown in nurseries or garden shops because it often has pesticides to maintain freshness. Experiment with lavender—it’s stronger than you think. Dried lavender is about three times more potent than fresh, so take that into consideration as well. Begin using smaller amounts, and try crushing it into a powder to avoid a bitter and soapy flavor.
England –Lavender scents these traditional English scones nicely, pairing perfectly with a royal favorite, lavender jelly. Lavender Buttermilk English Scones Yield: 10 to 12 scones Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup sugar ¼ cup butter, chilled and coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped lavender (2 tsp. dried) 1 tablespoons lemon zest (about 1 lemon) ¾ cup buttermilk Directions: 1. Whisk dry ingredients together, including lavender and lemon zest 2. Rub butter into dry ingredients with your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal 3. Stir in enough buttermilk using a fork to create a soft dough
Comment [ML1]: I don’t have much to change about this—the information is relevant, interesting, and a good length in my opinion. Comment [ML2]: This is a bit unclear because you mentioned before that people don’t think of this as food very much.
Comment [ML3]: The transition from this paragraph to the next is perhaps a little abrupt; I’d suggest connecting them somehow. Maybe just change this sentence: “While you shouldn’t use lavender from nurseries or garden shops, which contain pesticides, you can find edible lavender in a dried form at most whole foods stores, or you can grow it in your own garden.”
4. Knead dough and pat or roll to about ½ inch thick 5. Use a round cutter or pat into 2 ½ inch diameter circles and brush each scone with remaining buttermilk. You can also sprinkle with a little bit of sugar if you like 6. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden Lavender Jelly Yield: 5 cups Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 3 ½ cups water ½ cup dried lavender Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 box of powdered pectin 4 cups sugar Directions: 1. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and add lavender and zest, allowing to steep for about 20 minutes 2. Strain mixture and discard lavender and zest 3. Add in lemon juice and pectin, stirring until dissolved 4. Bring water mixture back to a boil over high heat and add sugar 5. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 2 to 4 minutes Greece – This savory dish infuses many Greek staples into one tasty meatball. The spiciness of the lamb, the earthiness of the lavender, and the freshness of the mint blends into one Mediterranean dish that you won’t be able to pass up. Lavender Lamb Greek Meatballs Yield: about 36 1-inch meatballs Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 8 to 12 minutes Ingredients: 2 pounds ground lamb 2 cups diced onion 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons salt 2 teaspoons pepper 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary 1 tablespoon dried lavender, ground
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped 2 cups breadcrumbs 4 eggs olive oil 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375° 2. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until tender 3. Remove from heat and fold in lavender, rosemary, and feta 4. Combine lamb, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, mint, salt and pepper 5. Add feta and onion mixture to lamb and mix thoroughly 6. Roll into desired size and sauté in olive oil for approx. 10 minutes, until golden on all sides 7. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes until done India – This lavender tea is soothing and relaxing. Rose petals have anti-depressant properties and are a good source of Vitamin C, while lavender is often used with pain management, sleep disorders, and circulatory problems. Lavender Rose Tea Yield: 6 to 8 cups Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 2 tablespoons fresh lavender petals (2 teaspoons dried) 2 tablespoons fresh rose petals (1 tablespoon dried) 1 tablespoon fresh spearmint leaves (1 teaspoon dried) Honey or sugar (to taste) 6 to 8 cups boiling water Directions: 1. Place lavender, rose petals, and mint in a tea bag and let steep in boiling water for 5 minutes 2. Sweeten to taste Italy – Who could pass up a decadent serving of homemade gelato? This version of the Italian favorite incorporates a balanced combination of the soothing scent of lavender and the bright citrus of lemon. Lavender Lemon Gelato
Yield: 4 cups Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours Ingredients: 2 cups whole milk ¼ cup dried lavender 4 tablespoons lemon zest (about 4 lemons) ½ cup honey 5 egg yolks ½ cup sugar 1 cup heavy cream Directions: 1. Combine in a medium saucepan the milk, lavender, honey, and lemon zest, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover the pan, and remove from heat allowing the flavors to infuse together for 15 minutes 2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and the sugar, beating on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale yellow 3. Strain the mixture and discard the lemon zest and lavender 4. Return the saucepan with the milk to the burner and simmer, stirring constantly 5. Take about a cup of the milk and mix it in with the egg mixture. Add mixture back to the milk, whisking everything together. Continue to cook over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon 6. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Strain once more to ensure that no lavender or lemon zest remains, and place in the refrigerator until cold. 7. Once chilled, add the mixture to an ice cream maker, following the ice cream maker’s instructions until done.