Cooking with Lavender

Fresh and Fragrant, Sumptuous yet Light, Earthy and Flavorful

Lavender is in the mint family with basil, oregano and rosemary.  It is slightly sweet in flavor and we love it in all desserts. But, it is one of the very few herbs with culinary uses across the entire food spectrum from sweet to savory.  Oddly enough lavender doesn’t actually taste like it smells in soaps and lotions; it’s not perfumey.  It’s an aromatic with undertones of a cinnamon, piney, spicy pungency that nicely balances the sweetness of fruit or creaminess of cheese.  You’ll be surprised at how well lavender provides that certain, yet subtle something extra in all dishes!

There are only 5 varieties of lavender recommended to cook with.  Every variety of lavender is different in a myriad of ways including its chemical constituents.  Some lavender has too much camphor, which won’t hurt you but will make your food taste bitter or “off”.  The best lavender varieties for cooking are Betty’s Blue, Hidcote, Melissa and Provence and Royal Velvet.

Most of the time, you are actually using the dried lavender bud to flavor your food and drink.   If the bloom stalk isn’t harvested at this stage, then each if the buds will open into a tiny flower.  This small flower can be removed from its stalk and used whole in recipes that don’t require any heat to prepare, such as fruit or green salads.  It lends a pretty appearance along with its flavor. It can make a nice garnish to top cupcakes, puddings or other desserts too.  We recommend NOT using either the essential oil or the leaves of the plant for cooking purposes – both are too strong and pungent.

Cooking with Lavender Tips:

  • Use a Culinary Variety
  • Use Whole Lavender Buds to Infuse the Flavor into Liquid (honey, vodka, cream, vanilla or lemon extract) or Dry Ingredients (sugar and salt) then strain/sieve out and discard (it makes a great garbage disposal deodorizer).
  • Add Lavender: Chopped, Crushed or Ground into a powder, to any recipe. Don’t overdo it, you can always add more the next time!
  • Rule of Thumb: Add 1.5 to 2 teaspoons chopped or ground into the batter of a packaged mix i.e. brownies, lemon bars, scones etc. and bake per instructions.
  • Substitute lavender in recipes calling for thyme, rosemary or sage.

Use the dried stems as grilling sticks to add a unique smoky flavor to meats or veggies.  Soak the stems in water for 5 minutes before placing on the grill.  Layer whatever you’re grilling over the top.

Best Pairings:

  • Chocolate
  • Lemon & Other Citrus Fruit
  • All Berries
  • Apricot, Fig, Pear, Peach, Plum
  • Vanilla
  • Honey
  • Coffee  Flavors
  • All Dairy – cheese, milk, butter, cream
  • Pecans
  • Avocado & Tomato
  • Sweet Potatoes & Squash
  • Rice and Potatoes
  • Smoked Meats
  • Lamb and Pork
  • Duck and Quail
  • Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, Rum, Vodka, Wine

Cooking with Herbs de Provence

Herbs de Provence is a classic seasoning blend of fragrant dried herbs found in the Provence region of southeast France.  Our Pure Botanicals blend contains lavender (of course), rosemary, thyme, savory, fennel seed, basil, and marjoram.  This herbal seasoning is a perfect complement to the full bodied flavors of summer bar-b-ques or fall stews and casseroles!

Use to Flavor:

  • All Meats, Fish & Poultry
  • Soups and Stews
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Tomato Sauces
  • Savory Sautes and Casseroles
  • Add to Olive Oil for Dipping
  • Popcorn or Nuts

Be sure to follow our Pinterest boards for ideas for cooking with lavender!