Just in time for the BBQ
~ English Lavender Marinade for Beef, Lamb or Chicken ~
Lavender is a traditional cottage garden plant. Its grey-green spikes of foliage and purple flowers provide colour all year. Since the Middle Ages, the dried flowers have been one of the main ingredients of potpourri. Fresh sprigs are included in herbal bunches known as tussie mussies, which have been used for hundreds of years to mask unpleasant odours and ward off illness. Use an infusion of lavender on insect bites. Dried flowers and seeds are used in herbal sleep pillows and baths for soothing and calming frayed nerves. Lavender oil applied at the temples will relieve a headache. Three flower heads in a cup of boiling water makes a soothing tea at bedtime. Lavender is my favourite herb – I use it regularly in the kitchen as well as around the house……as you may have already gathered!
Lavender is a wonderfully versatile herb in the kitchen. It is becoming increasingly popular as an addition to all manner of dishes including sugars, roast meats, biscuits and desserts and as a garnish. It is said that Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed eating lavender conserve and also used it as a perfume. Apparently she insisted that the royal table should never be without lavender conserve. She also drank lavender tea to help ease her migraines. Even today, French farmers graze their lambs in fields of lavender to give the meat a superb, fresh, floral flavour. Both the flowers and leaves of lavender can be used in cooking. Lavender makes a great accompaniment with other herbs and is best used with fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and summer and winter savoury. English Lavender has a much sweeter fragrance than other lavenders and is the one that is most commonly used in cooking. Its flavour is sweet and floral, with lemon and citrus overtones. Unlike many herbs, the flavour of lavender becomes more potent when the flowers are dried.
Using Lavender in Cooking:
Lavender flowers add a beautiful colour to salads and they taste lovely too. They can also be used in bread recipes or used to flavour biscuits. The flowers can ground in a pestle and mortar and added to a bag of sugar to use in cakes and buns. The flowers are excellent additions to desserts and will add a delicate floral scent and flavour to custards, flans or sorbets. Why not try adding lavender leaves to dishes instead of rosemary? Both the spikes and leaves can be used and will add a different dimension to the dish. Try popping a few leaves and flowers into savoury dishes, such as soups, stews and even meaty wine-reduced sauces.
If you are lucky enough to grow your own lavender, you can harvest the leaves and flowers from your own garden and experiment with this delicious herb at your will. Select flowers, which look fresh and have the fullest colour, and are not hampered by pests or diseases. Pick your flowers and leaves a short time before you use them in cooking as this will help preserve their flavour and colour. Simply cut the stems with scissors or secateurs and place them in a glass of water to keep them fresh until you use them. All blooms should be rinsed thoroughly to ensue they are free from dirt and insects.
(From herb expert co uk)
I grow several types of lavender in my garden and it is a perennial favourite of mine for cooking as well as a fragrance for the house…….I love the fact that my B and B guests slip into clean linen at night scented with lavender water, and that the cupboards and drawers all have sprigs of lavender in them to scent and soothe the senses. Today I am going to share a simple but effective marinade with you, and the star of the recipe is lavender……..English Lavender Marinade for Beef, Lamb or Chicken.
I will be back with MORE savoury lavender recipes over the next few weeks, but for now, I hope you will enjoy this just in time for the barbecue season, now we have the sun out! See you later with a special three-day menu of meals and a Fish on Friday recipe! Karen
Do you cook or bake with lavender?
What are your favourite recipes that use lavender?