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Lovely Lavender Recipes for Spring

If the thought of cooking with lavender brings to mind drinking a bottle of perfume, rest assured that lavender is a subtle, delicious ingredient that works incredibly well with both sweet and savory foods. Still not convinced? Then test out these wonderful recipes yourself*:

Lavender Lemonade Recipe:
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
  • 2 ½ cups cold water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat; add lavender. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.

2. Strain, discarding lavender. Stir in cold water and lemon juice. Serve over ice.

Recipe via TasteofHome.com

Lavender Crème Brûlée:
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups light cream
  • 4 to 6 lavender flowers, depending on size
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 6 teaspoons raw brown sugar
  • Fresh lavender for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Pour the cream into a small saucepan, add the lavender flowers and heat gently for 2 to 3 minutes, but do not boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and superfine sugar until smooth. Take the lavender out of the cream with a slotted spoon and then reheat the cream, bringing it almost to a boil. Gradually stir the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture and then strain into a bowl or back into the saucepan. Pour into 6 individual ovenproof ramekins or shallow dishes, cover the tops with aluminum foil and place them in a roasting pan. Pour in enough cold water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and bake until just set, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and let cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

5. Preheat a broiler. Sprinkle the raw brown sugar over the tops of the custards and broil until the sugar has caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Alternatively, use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Chill and serve garnished with fresh lavender within 30 minutes.

Recipe via Williams-Sonoma.com

Ellen Sullivan’s Lavender Tenderloin
Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dried food-quality lavender buds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
  • 1½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • One 4½-pound whole beef tenderloin, trimmed and silverskin removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

1. The day before serving, grind the lavender, fennel, peppercorns, thyme, and salt to a powder with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Rub the tenderloin with the spice mixture, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.

2. Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack inside a roasting pan.

3. Remove the plastic wrap, brush off the spices from the tenderloin, and rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Place the tenderloin on the rack and roast for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.

4. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for 5 to 15 minutes longer, to the desired doneness (an instant-read thermometer will read 125 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare).

5. Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil to the roasting pan, scrape well, and stir to combine the drippings.

6. Cut the tenderloin against the grain into ½-inch thick slices and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle the pan drippings over the meat and serve.

*If you don’t grow the lavender yourself, you should only cook with lavender that is intended to be used for culinary purposes.