From Jenna Sonnenshein
Courtesy Bridget Harrington, Patrona Bistro and Wine Bar
¾ lb (3 sticks) butter
2/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp lavender
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, sugar and lavender until fluffy.
Sift together flour, cornstarch and salt and add to butter mixture.
Mix just until you have a nice ball.
Roll into a log, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove plastic and cut into ¼ inch coins.
Place coins on a sheet pan and bake until just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.
These rich but not too sweet shortbread cookies have just a hint of sweet lavender fragrance and flavor. Make several batches to divide up and tuck into pretty decorative boxes or tins lined with pastel tissue paper. Be prepared to share the recipe — or, better yet, write it up on lavender-colored paper to include in the box.
1 ½ cups (¾ pound) butter, at room temperature (no substitutes)
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp very finely chopped lavender florets (fresh or dried)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 1/3 cups flour
½ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment or brown paper.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavender, and mint with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until incorporated.
Divide dough in half.
Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic.
Chill until firm.
On a floured board, roll or pat out each square to a thickness of ½ inch.
Cut the dough into 1 ½ inch squares or rounds.
Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Prick each cookie several times with a fork.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes until pale golden (do not brown).
Cool slightly, and then transfer to a rack.
Garnish with lavender powdered sugar: Put a 4 or 5 sprigs of lavender flowers in a sealed jar with powdered sugar for a day before using the sugar.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Adapted from John Ash, From the Earth to the Table, 1995
Courtesy Bridget Harrington, Patrona Bistro and Wine Bar
Makes 32 cookies from two 9-inch tart pans with removable bottoms
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup ground lavender flowers
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly butter 2 9-inch tart pans with removable bottoms.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. This may be done in a food processor with the plastic or metal blade.
Divide the dough in half and press evenly into the prepared tart pans.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.
Cool the shortbreads in the pans for 2 minutes.
Remove the metal rings, leaving the shortbreads on the metal bottoms.
Cut into wedges while still warm and on the metal bottom. (If the shortbreads seem too moist or soft, return to the oven and bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp.) Allow to cool. Then refrigerate.
Refrigerating the cookies on the metal pan bottom before removing them makes them easier to handle. Store the wedges in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
¾ cups unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
6 ½ Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds
5 extra-large egg whites
1 tsp grated lemon or orange rind
½ tsp ground culinary grade lavender buds
Melt unsalted butter.
Spoon one tablespoon of the melted butter into the bottom of 10- 4" muffin pan sections.
Sift powdered sugar and all-purpose flour in a bowl.
Add ground almonds and mix together.
Lightly beat egg whites with a fork, then fold them into the dry ingredients.
Add the rest of the cooled melted butter, grated lemon or orange rind and ground culinary grade lavender buds and mix well.
Fill each pan three-quarters full (sprinkle a small amount of lavender buds on top if desired) and bake on the middle shelf of a 400 degree oven for ten minutes.
Turn the pan around and bake for another ten minutes, until the tops are golden and spring back to the touch.
Remove from oven and leave in the pan for five more minutes, then gently un-mold onto a wire rack.
When cool, dust each Little French Lavender Cake with powdered sugar.
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
2 cubes of butter
1 ½ cups of sugar
6 Tbsp lemon juice
Grated rind of one lemon
½ tsp ground or whole culinary grade lavender buds
4 tsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
Mix together flour, powdered sugar.
Cut in 2 cubes of margarine or butter.
Press into the bottom of a 9" x 12" x 2" pan and bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes.
Mix together sugar, lemon juice, grated lemon rind, ground or whole culinary grade lavender buds, flour, baking powder and eggs.
Pour mixture over the crust and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
When cool, cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve with ice cream if desired.
Keep leftovers refrigerated — if there are any.
1 ¼ cup flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground fresh ginger
2 tsp ground culinary lavender
6 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup molasses
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Whisk flours, baking soda, and spices in a bowl, set aside.
Beat butter, molasses, and sugar with mixer until fluffy.
Reduce speed, and add egg, orange juice, and vanilla.
Gradually stir in flour mixture until combined.
Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate an hour or more.
Roll out dough on a floured surface, and cut as desired.
Place on baking sheet, bake 7 or 8 minutes.
Sprinkle with lavender sugar.
Makes approximately 30 cookies
*Lavender Sugar: 1 cup organic coarse granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp culinary lavender. Finely grind in coffee grinder or spice grinder.
4 ½ oz butter or margarine
4 oz sugar
5-7 oz self-rising flour
1 level Tbsp. dried English lavender flowers (Lavandula agustifolia)
Hint: It is essential to use English lavender or “Provence” lavandin (low camphor scent)
¼ to 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger (optional)
Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well.
Add dried lavender flowers and mix well. Include ginger here, if using.
Add sieved self-rising flour and mix well.
Place tspfuls into a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and bake in a pre-heated moderate oven (325 degrees) for 15-20 minutes.
This makes approximately 30 biscuits.
1 unbaked 10" pie shell
1/3 cup soft butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped Pecans
1 ½ tsp culinary Lavender (ground in coffee grinder)
1 large can Pumpkin Pie filling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Perforate crust & bake 5 min. at 425 degrees.
Combine butter, sugar, lavender & pecans, and spread over bottom of crust & bake for 5 min. longer.
Pour pumpkin pie filling into crust and bake 45 min.
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 Tbsp Lavender flowers (culinary grade)
2 ½ Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp vodka
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water until the sugar dissolves.
Add the lavender flowers; stir until mixture comes to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover, and let stand approximately 10 minutes.
Place a fine strainer over a large bowl and pour syrup mixture through (straining out the lavender flowers).
Add lemon juice and vodka to the strained syrup mixture; stir until thoroughly blended.
NOTE: The vodka (or any other type of alcohol) is the secret to a soft sorbet. Alcohol itself does not freeze and adding a little bit keeps the sorbet from doing the same. Vodka is excellent to use because it doesn’t affect the taste.
Ice Cream Maker – Transfer mixture to ice cream maker, process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Freezer Method – Pour into container, cover, and place mixture in the freezer. When it is semi-solid, mash it up with a fork and refreeze again. When frozen, place in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Cover and refreeze until serving time.
NOTE: Can be prepared 3 days in advance. Cover and keep frozen.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Hidcote lavender turns lemonade rosy pink. Other varieties turn it a paler color. Avoid piney-smelling lavenders, such as spike. For that extra touch, garnish lemonade with fresh lavender sprigs. Makes: 6 cups
1 cup sugar
¼ cup (a generous handful) fresh or 1 tablespoon dried lavender blooms stripped from stems
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Combine sugar with 2 ½ cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add the lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (and up to several hours).
Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 ½ cups water. Stir well and watch lemonade change color.
Pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use.
3 ½ cups water
½ cup dried lavender flowers
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately ¼ cup)
1 (1 ¾-ounces) box powdered pectin or 1 pouch (3-ounces) liquid pectin
4 cups sugar
In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil.
Remove from heat, stir in dried lavender flowers, and let steep for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, strain mixture into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers. Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is dissolved.
Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil; add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.
2 minutes – soft gel
4 minutes – medium gel
Testing for “jell” (thickness) – have a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the right consistency, then the jelly is ready. If not, mix in a little more pectin (about 1 teaspoon to ½ of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute. After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within ¼ inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.
Makes five ½ pints.
3 very ripe oranges, sliced, with the pith and membrane removed
1 tsp chopped fresh lavender flowers
3 tsp red wine vinegar
a very little chopped Spanish onion
Mix all the ingredients. Serve as a first course.
4 chicken boneless breast halves (with skin)*
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence**
*Do not remove skin until after baking, as the skin helps to retain moisture in the meat.
**Herbs de Provence – An assortment of dried herbs said to reflect those most commonly used in southern France. The mixture commonly contains basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, summer savory, and thyme.
Place chicken breasts, single layer, into an ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine olive oil and the herbs de Provence together.
Pour marinade over chicken breasts.
Cover and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerate to marinate longer (turning meat over several times).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife); basting several times during cooking.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
3 pounds of salmon fillet
4 Tbsp organic honey
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp lavender
¼ cup white wine
1 Tbsp tamarind paste (found in Asian markets, Worcestershire sauce may be substituted)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Place all ingredients except salmon in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until the ingredients are reduced by one-third to create a sauce.
When sauce has cooled slightly, brush it on the salmon fillet. Grill the salmon, basting with the sauce occasionally. Save some of the sauce for serving. Salmon is cooked when it flakes easily.
To bake this dish, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the salmon with the sauce, again reserving some for serving. Bake for 10 minutes, or until flaky, basting occasionally.
To serve, dress with reserved sauce.
1 (3 to 4 pound) beef tenderloin roast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp whole white peppercorns
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
Trim fat for roast. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Lightly oil outside of roast. In a small spice or coffee grinder, coarsely grind the black peppercorns, white peppercorns, fennel seeds, thyme, and lavender flowers; rub mixture all over the meat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight (preferably).
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Unwrap roast and place onto a rack in a shallow baking pan, tucking the thin end under to make it as thick as the rest of the roast. Roast for 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches desired temperature on a meat thermometer.
Rare – 120°F
Medium Rare – 125°F
Medium – 130°F
Remove from oven and transfer onto a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes before carving (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven). Transfer onto a serving platter and serve immediately with any accumulated juices.
Serves 6 – 8
4 pork loin or rib chops, about ¾-inch thick
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp coarsely-ground black pepper
½ tsp dried culinary lavender
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, lavender, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil; rub mixture onto the pork chops. Cover the chops with plastic wrap and let sit 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.
Preheat barbecue grill. Place pork chops onto hot grill. Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and grill 4 to 5 minutes; turn and grill an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F on a meat thermometer. Remove from barbecue and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
1 pealed carrot
1 red bell pepper, cored
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic or to taste
1/8 to ¼ tsp. culinary lavender buds, ground
One pound farfalle or penne pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
While bringing a large pot of salted water to boil, shred vegetables in a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic. When it’s slightly browned, stir in the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the ground lavender. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are barely softened – about five minutes or so.
Meanwhile, cook pasta until it’s just barely tender to where it’s cooked less than it would be to serve it. Drain, reserving some cooking water. Add the pasta to the vegetables and continue to cook, adding the cooking water as necessary to keep mixture moist.
Taste what you’ve created and add more lavender if you wish. Be careful to not add too much as a little goes a long way. When the pasta and vegetables are tender, but not mushy, adjust seasoning for salt and pepper, garnish with a couple of fresh lavender flowers and serve.
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½" cubes
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¾ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Pour 1 ½ inches of water into a medium stockpot with a strainer basket and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
Strain sweet potatoes, place in a large bowl, and let cool to room temp. Mash them to a smooth puree, about 1 ¼ cups. Add butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, mixing after each addition.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks lightly with a whisk for about 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 ½ min.
Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and stir until eggs are thoroughly incorporated and filling is consistent bright-orange color.
Add flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporate.
Add buttermilk and stir until mixed in.
With a clean, dry whisk and in a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 ½ min.
Gently fold egg whites into sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until blended.
Pour mixture into a prepared piecrust, then top with lavender crumb topping (see below). Bake on middle rack of oven until the center is firm and set, 35-40 min.
Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!
Lavender Crumb Topping
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS butter-room temp
1 ½ tsp culinary Lavender, finely ground in coffee grinder or spice grinder
Combine sugar, flour, culinary lavender & salt. Press out any lumps of sugar. Then using your hands or fork, rub in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Scatter crumb topping evenly over sweet potato pie, and bake.
The name pressada indicates chicken pressed between two layers of lavender, and it is based on a dish made with thyme that is enjoyed in Italy south of Naples. This is a true gardener’s recipe because few non-gardeners could afford to buy the amount of fresh lavender required!
The quick-cooking chicken first steams between two layers of freshly-cut lavender. Then the cooked chicken is stripped of lavender and quickly browned on a grill. Serve the chicken on rice pilaf or a bed of colorful mesclun. While you are eating you can add the leftover lavender foliage to the coals to produce a heady lavender fragrance.
6 to 8 chicken breasts or other cuts, bones and skins removed
Olive oil for brushing
5 gallon bucket loosely filled with fresh lavender foliage and flower stalks
Light a fire in a charcoal grill. Meanwhile, rinse the chicken parts thoroughly under cold water and pat dry. Once the flames are out and the coals are white at the edges, arrange coals in a uniform layer. Place the grill rack over the coals and set a 10-inch-by-20-inch cast-iron pancake griddle on top of the rack. The griddle should be directly above the hot coals (less than ½ inch). Heat the griddle until it is nearly orange-hot. When oil dropped on the griddle dances and sizzles, you’re ready to begin. Quickly coat the griddle with olive oil, which prevents the herbs from sticking and makes cleaning easier.
DO NOT USE A PLASTIC BRUSH! The heat of the pan will melt the bristles.
Working quickly, layer up to 2 inches of lavender foliage on the griddle with the stems all running in one direction. Be sure to cover the griddle thoroughly with lavender and leave no holes. Lay the chicken on top of the lavender, with the lengths of the pieces perpendicular to the lengths of lavender. Cover the chicken thoroughly with another two inches of lavender foliage. Set a baking sheet on top of the chicken-and-lavender “sandwich.” Stack 5-10 bricks evenly on top of the baking sheet to compress the lavender and chicken (the pressada part). Because the heat supercharges the volatile essential oils in the lavender, the resulting steam and oil mixture quickly cook the chicken. The chicken may only need 5 to 10 minutes per side if the griddle was orange hot, 15-20 minutes if the charcoal wasn’t hot enough. When the chicken is done on one side (i.e., a knife score shows only white flesh), remove the bricks and baking sheet and use tongs to turn the entire sandwich as quickly as possible. The lavender and chicken will usually hold together enough to allow you to turn them as a unified whole. You’ll either amaze your guests or have to reassemble the lavender-and-chicken sandwich while eating humble pie. Practice makes perfect! When the chicken is juicy but no pink flesh shows when meat is tested with a knife, remove the bricks and baking sheet and the top layer of lavender foliage. Lift the chicken off the bottom layer of foliage and place on platter. Then remove lavender and the griddle from the grill rack. Quickly re-stoke the coals and place chicken pieces on the grill rack, setting them at a diagonal to the line of the rack. Briefly brown the chicken on both sides. Transfer to a serving patter.
Serves 6 to 8