Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly

I have always loved lavender as a flower and for its scent, but I have only lately begun to appreciate it for its culinary potential. I have had as a kid lavender rock and lavender fudge, but I am discovering that it's so much more versatile than that.

For my birthday afternoon tea a month ago, I made lavender shortbread. It was dusted with the most delicious lavender sugar, made by whizzing up dried lavender and caster sugar into this heady grey powder that filled the room with perfume. There was sugar left over, so I have kept it for a special cake or pudding.

Tonight I was cooking rump steak, and I rubbed it with dried lavender flowers crushed with the mortar and pestle and mixed with a bit of ground black pepper. The result was very good - subtle, but added a lovely depth of flavour to the meat. It really is a herb that works with savoury as well as sweet. I'm keen to explore more.

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