When we purchased more than a dozen lavender plants last spring, we chose one that was touted as a superb culinary lavender (Lavandula angustiolia Buena Vista) and placed it in a container, the way I usually prefer to grow herbs. The stems are not as long, but the buds are supposed to have better flavor. I love having it near the patio table, where it still looks pretty and I can walk by and rub my fingers on the leaves or buds anytime to enjoy the scent.
I’ve seen plenty of recipes for lavender, usually in pastries. The only one I’ve tried so far (and loved!) is a lavender potato salad I’ve adapted from the book “Lavender: How to Grow and Use the Fragrant Herb” (Stackpole Books) by Ellen Spector Platt. By the way, this is our go-to source for growing and harvesting lavender. We combine some of the book’s information with local sources because of our differences in zone and water. Other than that, Ellen knows lavender! And the book has several recipes I plan to try.
To me, lavender is the most versatile of all herbs, right up there with its close relative, rosemary. If you don’t have one of the culinary varieties, it’s a great plant to add to your garden. But I made this recipe several times before we got this plant, and it tasted great! So try it with any lavender.
Lavender Potato Salad
About 12 – 14 small red potatoes with skins on
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 cups chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped chives
1 Tbsp fresh lavender flower buds (less if dried)
2 Tsbp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until tenderness desired. Drain and cool enough for handling. Cut into bite-size pieces. Mix all ingredients and chill.
(Adapted from Ellen Spector Platt’s recipe in “Lavender: How to Grow and Use the Fragrant Herb”)