Lavender has to be one of the main smells of summer! It's an amazing flower to use in both cooking and herbal remedies. The most popular edible lavender tends to be English lavender - usually known as Lavandula angustifolia, but it's sometimes sold as Lavandula officinalis or Lavandula vera. Occasionally it's listed as “true English lavender.”
Lavender is a strong smell and taste and tends to pair well with things such as lemon, berries, honey, and mint. Lavender can quickly make your dish taste strong, start with a little, taste, and add more as needed. Foraging for lavender is pretty simple as it's easy to find - in many gardens in the UK. As with all foraging, only pick where you are allowed, take just what you need remembering to leave enough for pollinators. We have been enjoying experimenting with lavender this year and aim to add recipes to this page as we try things out!
Lavender and Lemon Shortbread Biscuits
This is a wonderfully simple recipe and a good introduction to lavender as a taste to see if you like it.
You can use fresh or dried lavender for this.
175g softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of lavender finely chopped/picked off stems.
100g of caster sugar
225g of plain flour
225g plain flour
Juice of half a lemon (rind optional)
25g of demerara sugar for dusting
Heat oven to around 160 c/gas mark 3 (a low heat). and lightly grease a couple of baking trays.
Use softened butter and add to the sugar. Cream together and add in the lavender - mix well. Add the lemon.
Stir in the plain flour and mix together with your hands.
Separate the mixture into two and shape each into a sausage shape around 6 cm in diameter (approximately). Roll sausages in demerara sugar for a light dusting.
Wrap the mixture in baking paper or similar and put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
Cut each 'sausage' into slices around 1cm thick. Place sp[aced out on a baking tray. Bake for around 15, the biscuits should still be pale but slightly turning golden at the edges.
Take out of the oven and leave to cool a few minutes, then transfer to a cool rack.
Why not try our other summer recipes using edible flowers? Find out about using rose here.