Sunday, June 13, 2010
Cooking with Lavender: Lavender Egg Salad
Good morning everyone. Today we're going to chat about cooking with lavender again. From our conversations at the farmer's market, it's clear that many of you have never tried to cook with it, and, in fact, didn't know you could cook with lavender. Some of you bake with lavender, and some of you enjoy a good-for-you cup of lavender tea, but you're really missing out if you don't make it part of your culinary repertoire.
One of the keys to cooking with lavender is to ere on the side of less, especially if you are not following a specific recipe. It can be overpowering, and thus turn you off using lavender in your cooking. So start out with a small amount, even if a recipe calls for a tablespoon, add 1/2 tablespoon, then add more if you want more flavor. The other key to cooking with lavender is the type of lavender you use. The English lavenders are much milder and sweeter, while the Provence, which is what I raise, has a slightly stronger flavor because it has a little higher camphor content. So when I am baking with Provence, I scale back the amount a little bit. Also, fresh lavender blossoms are milder tasting than dried, which is about 3 times as strong. Roughly chopping your lavender releases some of the oils, also affecting the flavor, as does grinding.
The beauty of lavender is that it can be used in sweet, or in savory. So, you can make lavender sugar, or lavender salt and pepper. You can add it to your sugar cookies, or you can rub it on your salmon. Pretty cool, huh?
Today we're making Lavender Egg Salad. Egg salad came up in conversation at the farmer's market on Wednesday when we were discussing the virtues of the wonderful organic eggs. I know I've said this before, but the yolks are a beautiful, dark golden color, and so much richer in flavor. But before we get to the recipe, I briefly want to mention the ins and outs of boiling the perfect egg. You probably already know this method, but it comes as news to some that you don't have to boil the egg to death to cook it perfectly. Place your eggs in a pan of cold water, cover by about an inch, bring to a boil, boil for a minute or so, take off the heat, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Drain off the hot water, add cold tap water and let cool. If you have trouble peeling your egg, peel it under cold running water. I don't know why this works, but it does. Guess it gives the egg an extra chill so it releases the shell.
Lavender Egg Salad
5 hard boiled eggs, smashed, or finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry
1 1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds
1/3 cup mayaonaise, or to taste (I use Miracle Whip)
Combine all of the ingredients, mixing well. You can refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors, or eat right away. I usually eat right away on (and do not gasp!) white bread. I also like egg salad on crackers and toasted bread. And plain. I'll eat it plain, too.
One final tip, and this is from my Nana. When she smashed her eggs for egg salad she always did it on wax paper on a flat surface to really get the smash, then just dumped the smashed eggs easily into a bowl. That's how I do it, too.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand to chat about lavender, and soap. I'm so glad some of you tried the linen spray! I love getting to visit with everyone! Looking forward to next Saturday!
The puppies are doing wonderful, trying to get up on all fours, but their eyes are still closed. And yes, I'm still smelling their puppy breath!
Have a great day!