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Cooking with lavender: a vacation on the plate

Lavender in salad or in ratatouille? Unimaginable for some, a revelation for others. A story about a taste experience that catapults you straight into vacation.

A lavender field in Provence - the scent of a thousand blooming flowers, a symphony of the senses, a piece of pure vacation feeling. But who says that this pleasure has to be limited to just one season and one region? Lavender is increasingly conquering the hearts of cooks and chefs who love to experiment, bringing a touch of vacation and freshness to the plate.

Flavoured scented rice

The fine green and fragrant flowers of lavender, once known for soaps and scented pillows, are now conquering the culinary world with their tart-sweet flavour. For Heiko Antoniewicz, culinary researcher and cookbook author, they are a true revelation. He raves about lightly pressed lavender wood and dried flowers in fragrant rice, or finely chopped over a melon salad with feta, sun-dried tomatoes and pistachios.

Freshness and sharpness

In contrast to its niche existence in German kitchens, lavender is part of the fixed repertoire in Provence. Aurélie Bastian, cookbook author and owner of the blog "French cooking," raves about the freshness and pungency that lavender adds to dishes. As part of the popular spice blend "Herbes de Provence", lavender fits perfectly into the Mediterranean culinary tradition.

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Steak, fish, salads and sorbets

The uses are many: whether as an aromatic accompaniment to steak and fish, as a fresh note in salads or in sorbet made from Charentais melon - lavender shows its varied side. A salad with tomatoes and goat cheese becomes a culinary work of art with lavender flowers, while lavender wood adds an aromatic nuance to fragrant rice.

Sweet tooth ahead!

For those of us with a sweet tooth, lavender is also great for pâtisserie. Similar to vanilla, it brings a special touch to desserts such as tarte with berry fruits or crème brûlée. Lorenzo Ferro, chef at Le Bistrot de Lagarde in Provence, conjures up a dessert dream on the plate with poached nectarines, lavender and sabayon on a shortbread sablé.

The main temperatures for cooking lavender

As with any good aroma game, there are rules to follow: up to a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius, the fresh lavender scent unfolds, then the herbal notes emerge, and at over 100 degrees, the bitter notes are emphasised.

Ferdinand von Vopelius
Ferdinand von Vopelius
Portalmanager Österreich