£1.30 – £15.90
Product of: France
Nett Weight: 25g / 100g / 250g / 500g
Lavender is a native of the western Mediterranean; an evergreen shrub cultivated on a large scale for its oil. This is extracted from the flower spikes and was used for its masking perfume and skin freshening properties. It is reputed to have the power to neutralise a viper’s venom! Is an excellent antiseptic and insecticide.
Lavender is a pretty amazing thing to have in your culinary arsenal but it can easily veer toward potpourri-town if you’re not careful. Keep these things in mind when you start to experiment: No matter what you plan to do with it, make sure to buy “culinary lavender.” Like coconut oil, lavender is produced for uses other than cooking. It’s true: We made several batches of popcorn with cosmetic-grade coconut oil a few weeks ago. While we didn’t die or anything, we did feel a little bit weird about it. Lavender falls under the same umbrella. Culinary lavender is suitable for consumption while ornamental lavender isn’t (necessarily). And while it probably won’t kill you, just buy the stuff that you’re sure is safe to eat.
It’s no fun biting into a piece of cake and coming away with a mouthful of leaves. We like to use lavender as an infusion, so either grinds it (say, with sugar for baked goods) or strain it out of a liquid (cream or syrup) before using. You’ll still get great lavender flavour without the chalky chew.
A little goes a long way. If you’re not following a recipe you trust, use lavender sparingly. Its flavour is strong and can easily overwhelm baked goods or savoury dishes if you’re heavy-handed. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Lavender has a strong flavour, so pair it accordingly with other assertive flavours. In baking, be sure to use a light touch or balance its low notes with something bright like lemon juice and zest. Herbes de Provence go great with lamb, or grilled or roasted chicken. A few more ideas if this got the creative juices flowing: Infuse simple syrup with a sprinkling of lavender and use to sweeten iced tea, lemonade, or even to flavour meringue. Grind some lavender into sugar and use it in simple butter cookies or infuse cream for lavender-scented whipped or ice cream. Make your own dry blend of herbs and flowers (we like lavender with mint and rosemary) and rub on lamb chops or chicken wings before grilling. You can even candy the blossoms and use those to garnish.
“How long do dried herbs last?”
Depends on both the type of herb and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored herbs, do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried herbs (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare herbs, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your herbs:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat or sunlight.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.