Lavender has been used throughout history for its culinary and seductive qualities. Cleopatra famously used the lavender scent to seduce Julius Cesar and Mark Antony. The time has now come for you to turn those aphrodisiac qualities upside down.
Today lavender is coming back into culinary fashion with the help of many celebrity chefs including James Martin and the Michelin starred Heston Blumenthal.
Now it is your turn to bring this culinary herb into your kitchen and by doing so it will not be you who has to use the “headache” excuse. Instead the sleep inducing properties of lavender will have your partner’s head hitting the pillow long before they have had chance to ask for “dessert”.
Lead them astray with this romantic 3 course meal:
Avocado and Kiwi Salad with Grilled Goat’s Cheese
2 tbs Raspberry Vinegar
4 tbs Light Olive Oil
1 tsp Dried Lavender
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Caster Sugar
2 ripe Avocados
150g / 5oz Rocket Leaves
4 x 1cm / ½” slices of Chevre (goats’ cheese in a log shape)
4 x 1cm ½” slices of Brioche, Toasted.
Mix together the vinegar and oil. In a pestle and mortar, grind the lavender, salt and sugar. Mix into the oil and vinegar. Peel and dice the avocados and kiwis. Line 2 small plates with rocket leaves.
Place the goats’ cheese on top of the brioche and place under a hot grill. Toast until cheese is browned and bubbling.
Put a piece of cheese-topped brioche in the centre of each plate. Surround with the avocado and kiwi and drizzle the dressing over all. Serve immediately.
Lavender Schnitz – Pork Escallops with Lavender
8 Pork Escallops
125g / 4oz fresh Wholemeal Breadcrumbs
1 tsp Dried Lavender, crushed
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
½ tsp Mixed Peppercorns, crushed
1 Large Egg, beaten
50g / 20z Butter
1 Onion, chopped
1 additional tsp Dried Lavender
200ml / 7fl oz Sweet White Wine (such as Spanish Moscatel)
150ml / 5fl oz Crème Fraiche
Beat the escallops with a steak hammer or rolling pin until very thin. Combine the breadcrumbs, lavender, garlic and peppercorns. Spread out on a plate. Dip the escallops in the egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture, carefully coating both sides. Chill Well.
Melt the butter in a large skillet and fry the escallops until nicely browned on both sides. Keep warm, fry the onion in the pan. When browned add the additional lavender and wine. Reduce by half, then whisk in the crème fraiche off the heat. Serve the escallops with the sauce, new potatoes and green beans.
Lavender, Lemon and Honey Ice Cream
1 pt / 600ml Double Cream
1 large pot of Natural Yogurt
The grated rind and juice of one Lemon
1 tbs runny Honey
1 dsp Dried Lavender
Sugar to taste
Whisk the cream until it is the same consistency as the yogurt. Fold these two together and blend in the lemon rind and juice, honey and dried lavender. Sweeten to taste with sugar and freeze the ice cream until needed.
Recipes – First UK serial rights to Yorkshire Lavender