Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lavender Sea Salt and Sugar

When I planted my herb garden this year I added two large lavender plants. When the purple spikes of bloom appeared early in the summer I harvested them, set them aside in a bucket and forgot about them until now. I use a lot of lavender beauty products like body lotion and wash but I hadn't considered using it in cooking until recently. Lavender is part of the mix for Herbes de Provence after all, along with thyme, basil, savory and fennel. So I started doing some research and found two ways to use dried lavender flowers or the stalks, one sweet and one savory. Lavender Sea Salt and Lavender Sugar. The sea salt can be used to season grilled meats or vegetables. We've also sprinkled lavender salt over olive oil and used it for dipping bread at dinner. If you don't have lavender on hand, you could also try rosemary or another woody herb with the salt. On the sweet side, I'm going to give lavender sugar cookies or biscotti a try soon. The salt itself is highly scented in the jar but it doesn't seem to overwhelm dishes. It plays a nice background note. It's also nice paired with rosemary, although too much rosemary will overwhelm the lavender. You probably won't find lavender in your produce section but shouldn't have any trouble finding it at a garden center or Farmer's Market.

 Lavender Sea Salt
1/4 cup dried lavender
1 cup sea salt

Lavender Sugar
1/4 cup dried lavender
2 cups granulated sugar

1.) Place the lavender with the salt or sugar in a food processor and pulse until they're well mixed.
2.) Pour salt/sugar in a clean, dry, air-tight container and store in a cool dark place. The longer it sits, the stronger it will get.

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