Lavender is a versatile herb that is often associated with its aromatic and relaxing qualities, but did you know that it can also be used in cooking? If you're looking to experiment with this fragrant ingredient, here are some tips on how to cook with lavender.
Choose the right type of lavender
Not all types of lavender are suitable for cooking, so it's important to choose the right variety. English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Provence lavender (Lavandula x intermedia) are the most commonly used culinary lavenders, as they have a sweeter and less bitter flavor compared to other types.
Use fresh or dried lavender
Fresh lavender can be difficult to find, so dried lavender is more commonly used in cooking. When using dried lavender, make sure to use it sparingly as its flavor can easily overpower other ingredients. Start with a small amount and adjust according to taste.
Pair lavender with complementary flavors
Lavender has a floral and slightly sweet flavor, which pairs well with other aromatic and sweet flavors. Some common pairings include lemon, honey, vanilla, and berries. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite flavor profiles.
Use lavender in small amounts
As mentioned earlier, lavender can easily overpower other flavors, so it's important to use it in small amounts. A little goes a long way when it comes to lavender, so start with a small amount and add more gradually until you achieve the desired flavor.
Use lavender in different forms
Lavender can be used in different forms, such as dried flowers, essential oil, or lavender sugar. Dried flowers can be used in savory dishes such as roasted chicken or lamb, while essential oil is more commonly used in baked goods like lavender scones or lavender shortbread. Lavender sugar can be used in tea, coffee, or even sprinkled on top of desserts.
Use lavender as a garnish
Lavender can also be used as a decorative garnish for dishes like salads, cocktails, or even ice cream. Simply sprinkle a few dried flowers on top of the dish for a pop of color and aroma.
In conclusion, cooking with lavender can add a unique and delicious flavor to your dishes. However, it's important to use it in moderation and pair it with complementary flavors to achieve the best results. With these tips in mind, you're ready to experiment with lavender in your next culinary creation.