We all know lavender for its beautiful scent, but it also makes and excellent ingredient for cooking everything from cakes to chicken, but the key is to use it correctly. Lavender is used a lot in cooking in the south of France, but if you’re not careful, your latest culinary experiment could turn into a dish that tastes like a spoonful of pot-pourri, or even worse — soap. So always make sure you use culinary lavender from the herb section at your supermarket and you’ll soon be adding a new favourite herb to your cupboard after you taste some of these:
1. HAVE LAVENDER-BASED HIGH TEA
The thought of high tea always conjures up rural images of quaint gardens, sitting at a table surrounded by flowers, while a floral aroma wafts on the breeze. A better way to fully immerse yourself in that setting is to include the flowers in the dishes. Lavender can obviously be used in tea, particularly blended with chamomile, but it also goes perfectly in deserts, especially scones, cupcakes, and muffins, and it also makes a beautiful garnish. This recipe for lavender cream scones is the ultimate starting point.
2. THE FRENCH HAVE BEEN ROASTING WITH LAVENDER FOR YEARS
Whether it’s with poultry and fowl, or simply with potatoes, lavender is delicious when it’s used as a herb when roasting. Lavender is pretty strong so it’s best to use it in moderation, but it is also tasty when it is countered by other flavours, especially sweet or zesty ones. This opens the door to experimentation by adding ingredients such as honey, lemon juice or rind, and even garlic, all perfectly complementary with your new favourite ingredient. A French staple in Provence is lemon and lavender chicken, and this recipe for it is a breeze, provided you have a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.
Okay, so it isn’t technically cooking, but making cocktails with lavender is still another way of ingesting it. When you’re using lavender with food and drink, you’re not just limited to using it in a solid form, you can also purchase lavender syrup, which goes well in drinks. Remember, moderation is the key when using lavender, but a small amount of dried lavender goes well in mojitos, or you could try The Harrier, a gin-based cocktail made with lavender and grapefruit juice, named after a dog with a keen sense of smell.
4. LETS NOT FORGET DESSERT
We mentioned earlier that lavender goes especially well when mixed with something sweet, which sounds like the perfect excuse for dessert. You might’ve stumbled across lavender chocolate or even seen lavender jam before, which are both absolutely delicious and the chocolate is perfect for snacking on, but if you’re going to have a French-inspired, lavender-infused meal, you’ll probably want to follow it up with the ultimate french dessert. That’s right, lavender crème brûlée is a real thing and here’s how to make it yourself.
5. LAVENDER SYRUP
We all know that some ingredients can be a little difficult to find here in Singapore and lavender syrup might be one of them. As we mentioned earlier, lavender syrup is an excellent addition to cocktails so if you were thinking about shaking your own lavender martinis or possibly even trying to conjure up your own personal lavender drink, you will probably need some lavender syrup. If you aren’t able to find the syrup anywhere, but already have lavender, the other ingredients are available at all supermarkets and convenience stores and it doesn’t take much effort to whip up some lavender syrup at home.