Here are a few tips on cooking with lavender:
In cooking, use 1/3 the quantity of dried flowers to fresh. The key to cooking with lavender is to experiment; start out with a small amount of flowers, and add more as you go.
NOTE: Adding too much lavender to your recipe can be like eating perfume and will make your dish bitter. Because of the strong flavor of lavender, the secret is that a little goes a long way.
The lavender flowers add a beautiful color to salads. Lavender can also be substituted for rosemary in many bread recipes. The flowers can be put in sugar and sealed tightly for a couple of weeks then the sugar can be substituted for ordinary sugar for a cake, buns or custards. Grind the lavender in a herb or coffee grinder or mash it with mortar and pestle.
Flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams. Lavender lends itself to savory dishes also, from hearty stews to wine-reduced sauces. Diminutive blooms add a mysterious scent to custards, flans or sorbets.
NOTE: Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops.
Harvesting Fresh Lavender - Harvest flowers as you would fruit, selecting those that look most perfectly ready, with the fullest color, and passing over any that seem wilted or less ripe. The fresher the flower, the more flavorful its taste, so pick your flowers as close as possible to food preparation time. Stem flowers may be put in a glass of water in a cool place until you are ready to use them. All blooms should be thoroughly rinsed. Immerse them in water to remove any insects or soil. Then lay the flowers gently on paper or cloth towels and dab dry, or gently spin dry in a salad spinner. If necessary, layer blooms carefully between moist paper towels in the refrigerator until meal time.
Here is one of our favorites.
4 1/2 pounds peaches—peeled, pitted and diced (10 cups)
2 1/2 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
Ingredient Info: Dried Lavender blossoms are also call culinary lavender buds. They are not the florets or stems.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1.: Preheat the oven to 400°. In a bowl, mix the peaches, tapioca, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Transfer the filling to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
2.: Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the lavender to a powder. In a bowl, combine the lavender, flour, oats, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the 1/2 cup of cream and the buttermilk; stir until the dough is just moistened.
3.Using two spoons, form 3-tablespoon mounds of the topping and arrange them evenly over the peaches. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the cobbler for 50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Let cool slightly before serving.