Any ideas for how to use lavender leaves (fresh/dried)?
What a lovely, no pun intended, question. I've been on sort of a mission lately to venture into some new ways of using lavender in foods. If you take a look at my recipes, perhaps you'll get some ideas of your own. Have a wonderful time with it!
My favorite uses are in shortbread cookies, make your own herbes de Provence (great on chicken), and making homemade bath salt scrubs. It's also great steeped with chamomile tea (and you can use this mixture to steam your face). I also think it is dynamite mixed with honey and used to make biscotti, ice cream, etc.
Last summer I bought organic lavender bouquets, hung them upside down and dried them. Some buds I kept whole in a jar and pressed them for the oil, others I ground in a coffee grinder I use for spices. It just takes a little bit of lavender to make a difference.
Serve this with a savignon blanc on a summer day - people love this!
One of my favorite recipes is Goat Cheese and Lavender Spread and I think I got the recipe at Whole Foods.
12 ounces soft goat cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
Whisk together goat cheese, heavy cream, lavender, honey and sea salt until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
I also recommend this book, which I own and it has wonderful lavender recipes.
The Lavender Cookbook by chef. Sharon Shipley
Is it ok to also use the leaves if I've already used the buds for something else? Can I substitute them in recipes that call for buds?
I love making lavender simple syrup - just put the herbs with the sugar and water when you boil it together, then strain. Awesome in lemonade!
We infused vodka with lavender, which makes for a very interesting addition to drinks, especially lemony ones. Don't let it steep for as long as you might other infusions--we ended up with a whole litre of lavender bitters, which is approximately a lifetime supply (a little goes a long way!)
Food52's very own bonnieb, and (Washington Post food columnist) posted this classic recipe for lavender shortbread yesterday. I'm making it this weekend to serve with a mint sorbet someone is bringing to our neighborhood cookout with the lavender in my garden.
Just making sure--are these responses for lavender LEAVES, which is what the question asked? I tend to restrict myself to FLOWERS. For flower buds, I agree with all the suggestions, for leaves, it's not something I tend to think about. Thx.
I put this in the lentil question but here it goes:
Here is what I read on a lavender website about the leaves:
The spikes and leaves of lavender can be used in most dishes in place of rosemary in most recipes. Use the spikes or stems for making fruit or shrimp kabobs. Just place your favorite fruit on the stems and grill.
I use lavender a lot in many combinations, both sweet and savory, and agree with sdebrango above. If steaming, strain. If grilling, go for it. Sounds lovely!
I'll post some more in the morning. The shortbread combinations sound wonderful!