Culinary Lavender is preparing to flower here in the Pacific Northwest and I want to equip you on how to harvest, dry, debud, use lavender in cooking and how to store your culinary buds for an amazing lavender season!
June Begins Lavender Season in the Pacific Northwest!
I’m getting giddy in anticipation of lavender season. I begin the countdown as our lavender is beginning to turn its shades of purples and blue. Today I want to to give you the information you would need to gather from your garden or a local u-pick lavender farm your very own culinary lavender. I’ll share with you a quick and simple, “how to guide” on how to harvest, how to dry bouquets, how to prepare it for food and even how to keep it fresh.
But first a little fun history- Lavandula Angustifolia, also known as English lavender, is the varietals you will use for your culinary adventures in the kitchen. This sweet floral herb has been used historically for medicinal purposes as well as beloved flavor in cooking. Lavender was made popular by Queen Elizabeth who valued lavender conserve on her morning toast, used as lavender tea medicinally for her migraines and minor ailments and was known to use lavender oil daily as her perfume of choice.
So now that you know a little bit of fun history you too can harvest your own culinary lavender to use as medicinal tea, or in various recipes and so much more….just as Queen Elizabeth did and so many others before her. So let’s get down to the basics so you will be prepared.
When to harvest
You will want to harvest for your culinary lavender when your lavender stalks have about 2 flowers open. The flowers opening signals to us that the plant is mature and can hold its stems straight. It also lets us know that the lavender oil has reached the flower buds for a quality lavender culinary bud. As we all know when you cook with lavender you are using the bud, not the bloomed flower.
How to dry it
After cutting your lavender place a rubber band around your stems. Hang upside down for 1-2 weeks or until has dried. We use the “snap test” to ensure the lavender is dry. To do this you will bend one of the stems of lavender, if it snaps you know it is red, if it is pliable it will need more time to dry.
How to prepare-fresh or dried
Lavender can be used fresh or dried. When using fresh the general rule of thumb is one tablespoon of fresh herbs to one teaspoon of dried herbs.
How to remove the lavender buds from the stems
To remove the buds from the stem you can roll the bouquet between your hands over a bowl. The buds will fall off into the bowl. We like to sift the buds to remove any dust particles, pick out and remove any dried leaves and then place into a spice jar or small clean glass jar.
How to adapt your own recipe
Lavender is a fabulous companion to desserts, but you can also substitute culinary lavender in place of rosemary in your favorite recipes.
How to keep it fresh
Lavender once dried is like the other herbs in your cupboard. You will keep them away from direct light and stored in an airtight container to retain color and flavor. It is recommended you use it within a years time. It will last much longer, but will lose some flavor as time goes by.
If you’ve read this far and think….love all of that but…ummm, don’t want to do all that! No worries we are stocked up on culinary lavender in our shop and you get that here! If you need more recipe ideas check out our blog/recipe section and if you use this information to harvest your own culinary lavender we love when people share with us at #norwoodlavenderfarm!
Oh wow, nothing like homemade pasta! It's actually fairly easy and much more hardier than store bought pasta. We've learned a few tricks while making pasta. Don't over mix, it can make your dough tough. Keep rolling it thinner than you think or the noodles will be overly thick when cooked. Of course if you have a pasta machine you can get a nice thin pasta for sure. Last tip, watch your cooking time as you don't want to overcook...best way to tell if it's done is to cut a tip off of a noodle and try it.
Fresh Herb Pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, minced
1/2 tsp Culinary Lavender Buds
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Blend together flours on clean counter. Make a well in the center and add eggs, oil, salt, garlic, diced herbs and culinary lavender. Mix together and knead for about 3-4 minutes and your dough comes together. Adding a little more flour if sticky and a mist of water if to dry. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 3o minutes.
Roll your dough out on floured surface until very thin. Dust lightly with flour and gold in half and half again width, slice thinly with a knife to get your pasta strips. Make sure lightly covered with flour so that you can unroll your pasta and place on cookie sheet in a little pasta spiral. Use the pasta within 24 hours for best results.
To cook pasta, bring water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tsp salt and fresh pasta. Cook until al dente which will be anywhere from 2-5 minutes depending on width of pasta. When it was finished we drizzled with garlic butter and garnished with parmesan.
Products featuring lavender and other florals flavors have increased in popularity by 132% since 2015 (source: Innova Market Insights). Rose, Lavender, Hibiscus and Elderflower continue to be the leading choices and expected to continue to gain traction and visibility in 2019. Their natural appeal and their exotic notes make them a winner for new product launches in any application, from biscuits to yogurt, drinks or snacks (source: www.itstaste.com/news/flavour-trends-2018-19).
We will continue to develop more lavender recipes using our culinary lavender in the new year. Don't forget to check out our lavender products we have Lavender Hot Chocolate Mix, Lavender Lemonade Mix, Lavender Simple Syrup, Lavender Shortbread Cookie Mix, Lavender Scone Mix as well as Lavender Cocktail Picks . Here is to cooking with lavender this year, cheers!
I like easy and simple cooking. Here is something that can be put together quickly, tastes great and can be served for the family or special company. That's what I like, no fuss cooking that tastes and looks great!
I love how pretty the crumbs look with the lavender and crumbs all mixed and ready to put on the fish.
Top the fish with crumb mixture and bake. Easy. Simple. Quick.
Hazelnut Crusted Fish with Lavender
2 tsp. dried culinary lavender
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup hazelnuts, ground or nut of choice
1 lb. skinless salmon
Combine bread crumbs, hazelnuts, dried culinary lavender, garlic powder, salt, and
pepper. Stir in 1 tsp. oil and set aside. Dip salmon into crumb mixture to coat. Lay the
salmon on top of a parchment lined baking sheet. Press some more crumbs on top and
spray with a little cooking spray. Bake in 425º F oven for about
10-13 minutes, depending on thickness. Serve with lemon slices.
I am Nicole Callen, lavender lover, farmer, and owner of Norwood Lavender Farm. My intention for this page is to bring you great lavender related content that you can use. Most of it contains culinary adventures that transpire in my kitchen, as I have a love for the complex floral flavor and depth that lavender brings to cooking.