L is for lavender

My first foray into lavender was a recipe from Raw Food for Everyone called Pickled Mushroom with Lavender. As per the recipe, I whisked together some brine, added some spices and lavender and left it to sit in the fridge for a while.

The flavour? Beautiful. The look? Not so much. I used normal white mushrooms (the recipe says pick a few different types, and clearly I should have listened) which after sitting in the spicy brine became slightly grey and shrivelled like a boxer dog's cheeks. Not a feast for the eyes!

What was needed here was a more robust vegetable. I had a fridge full of carrots that had seen better days, and decided to given them a second, lavendery lease of life.

But would uncooked carrots pickle well? I wasn't sure, and decided to mix up the pickled mushroom recipe with About.com's Spicy Mexican Pickled Carrots recipe, which I tried recently and it turned out a treat.

It's garlic and carrots sauteed briefly, then with fennel seeds, lavender, vinegar and pink peppercorns added and simmered. Next, water and agave and a bit more simmering, and you're there. 

The lavender flavour was subtle and a cracking complement o the rest of spices. This one gets the Flicking the Vs seal of approval!

Now onto lavender in a sweet recipe. Biscuits (or cookies, if you're on the other side of the Atlantic), using a recipe from The Hop Shop, a lavender farm in Kent. 

Here's how my attempt turned out:

Not too shabby, huh? The only tip I'd give you on this one is a) use a less daft cookie cutter. The ears kept falling off the bunnies, which was too traumatic. b) Grind the lavender up til it's powdery, otherwise every so often you'll chomp into one of those biscuits and get a dry lavender flower breaking between your teeth and it'll be all medicinal and weird. Also, if you do it right, you'll get a little purple tinge to the sugar, which is too cool.

Lastly, I put some into scones along with some lemon zest. Here's what they looked like:

I used the recipe of my mum's that never fails, and yet they still didn't turn out like I remembered - these bad boys were a bit less well risen, a bit crispier, a bit drier.

I'm going to revisit these another time, so when I eventually do crack the recipe, I'll post it over here.


  1. Lemon-lavender scones sound lovely! I would think lavender would be best in sweeter recipes but the sound of the carrots is compelling. much more appealling than boxer dog's cheeks...

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  3. Nice! Everything looks so good; I really just want to try it all! :D
    Oh, I'm also following you on twitter as well. :) @VegCourtesy


  4. Those bunnies are super awesome!! :) They've decided to hop over to my blog for a mud-MoFo roundup. ;)

  5. I would never have thought to use lavender in a savoury recipe. I'm intruiged now. I've got a pot of culinary lavender from last summer when I had a bit of a phase on making lavender shortbread. Thanks for the ideas on how to use it up!

  6. Love your lavender baking experiments, especially the cute little bunnies even if they did cause you some grief. What a great idea to put lavender in with the pickled carrots!

    I thought about cooking with lavender from my garden when I saw saw some recipes last MoFo before realising that there is a specific culinary type to use. Phew!

  7. I've never used lavender in anything, I'm not a big fan, but your bunny cookies are so adorable! I have so many problems with some of my cookie cutters, they are so hard to use without breaking bits off the cookies

  8. Where do you find lavender? I absolutely love the flavor but have yet to stumble across it. I want purple sugar! Too bad your scones aren't quite as awesome as your memories of them - I have faith that you'll crack their code someday! And kudos on trying lavender in a bunch of different things instead of just one recipe, that's super hardcore! :)


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