Lavender isn’t on the radar unless it’s blooming in the yard. A shame, since the taste, which is as much a perfume as a flavor, is amazing when combined with the right ingredients. There are the Macrina Bakery scones with lemon and fresh lavender, for instance, and Jerry Traunfeld’s fabulous lavender panna cotta recipe. I find the buds to be just as tasty with savory foods. An old standby in our kitchen is chopped lavender pressed into the sides of a block of goat cheese. It’s an unbelievably simple appetizer to assemble; I’m often putting it together just as the guests are arriving. It looks sort of upscale, and the tang of the cheese perfectly matches lavender’s unique flavor.

Lavender’s easy to harvest and keep, too. Strip the buds from their stems, either before or after blooming, then air dry. They hold their flavor for many months.

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