Get The Most Out of Your Lavender from Backyard Eats
When It’s Ready
- Lavender is ready when the plant begins to send up flower spikes
- Flowers can be harvested midsummer
- Harvest no more than one-third of a plant at a time to allow continued regrowth
- Harvest at any time of the season
- Cut with scissors or pruners about one-third down the length of a main stem
- Or clip off an entire branch
- Pruning or harvesting midsummer is essential to maintaining a healthy looking plant
- Without pruning, lavender will form a woody and leafless center
Lavender is a herb with a sweet, floral, and slightly minty flavor. It is widely used in culinary and medicinal applications, particularly in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Lavender is typically used as a seasoning or garnish, and can be added to sweet and savory dishes alike. It pairs well with a variety of other ingredients, including lemon, honey, and rosemary.
Air Dry: Hang to air dry, or place in a well-ventilated area and turn often.
Dehydrator or Oven: Dry in the oven below 200F. Visit Spiceography for more detailed information.
Cooking With Lavender
- Lavender Lemonade: Infuse lavender flowers in lemonade for a fragrant and refreshing drink. Simply steep dried or fresh lavender flowers in hot water, strain, and mix the lavender-infused water with lemon juice and sweetener to taste.
- Lavender Shortbread Cookies: Add dried culinary lavender buds to a classic shortbread cookie recipe for a delicate floral twist. The lavender adds a subtle aroma and flavor to the buttery cookies.
- Lavender-Infused Honey: Combine dried or fresh lavender flowers with honey in a jar and let it infuse for several days. The floral notes of lavender beautifully complement the sweetness of the honey, making it a delightful addition to tea, yogurt, or as a drizzle over desserts.
- Lavender Roasted Chicken: Rub chicken with a mixture of dried lavender buds, salt, pepper, and olive oil before roasting. The lavender adds a unique and fragrant dimension to the savory flavors of the chicken.
- Lavender Simple Syrup: Make a lavender-infused simple syrup by simmering equal parts water and sugar with dried lavender flowers. Use this syrup to sweeten cocktails, iced tea, or as a flavoring for desserts like cakes or sorbets.