Lavender Picking, Culinary Uses for Lavender and Lavender Roasted Onions

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on July 13, 2009

butterflies and bug in lavender farm


After a little blogging hiatus, I’m back with a new blog design, lots of new posts, recipes, and pictures!

We went lavender picking at the Seven Oaks Lavender farm in Catlett, VA. I spent two hours snipping grosso (French) lavender and taking lots and lots of pictures. Before I give you suggestions and culinary uses for lavender, here are some photos from our lavender picking trip.. 

lavender in baskets

The farm had baskets lined up for lavender picking 

  harvesting lavender with sickle

Summer workers from Pennsylvania were staying at the farm and helping to harvest lavender 

cut lavender in basket


bee on lavender

 Lavender attracts bees, butterflies and bugs

How to Dry Fresh Lavender
If you’ve picked fresh lavender stems like I did, you may want to dry them first. To dry fresh lavender, tie the stems in bunches using a rubber band and hang them in a dark place to dry. (If lavender is exposed to too much light while drying, it will lose color). You will have perfectly dried lavender in about 7 days. Once the lavender is dry, gently strip the buds from the stems and store in an air tight container. You are now ready to use lavender in cooking.

Some Culinary Uses for Lavender
- Lavender sugar – simply place some dried lavender with white sugar and let it sit for two weeks before using. Recipe on the herb gardner.
- Lavender syrup – cook sugar, water and dried lavender together to form a fragrant syrup that will be great on cakes and other dessert. Recipe on 5 star foodie.
- Lavender roasted potatoes – combine potatoes, olive oil, dried lavender, salt and pepper and roast in the oven. Recipe on school of the seasons.
- Lavender crème brulee – recipe on whats cooking America.
- Lavender focaccia – add a unique twist to focaccia by adding lavender to it. Recipe on whats cooking America.
- Goat cheese with lavender – marinate goat cheese with garlic, lavender, fresh herbs and olive oil. Recipe on lavender lovers.
- Lavender butter – simply mix softened butter, dried lavender and any other herbs/seasonings. Recipe on joys of lavender.
- Lavender cornbread – recipe on joys of lavender.

The possibilities for cooking with lavender are endless. You can make lavender cheese cakes, salad dressing, vinaigrette, herbs de province, lavender lemonade, scones, lavender ice cream or even lavender sparkling wine. And here is something else you can do with lavender..

Lavender Roasted Onions

lavender and onions

You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious lavender scented side dish  - onions, olive oil, thyme, lavender

onion peel

cutting onions

Chop the onions into wedges, keeping the root end intact.

onions and oliveoil

Then sprinkle thyme, lavender, salt, pepper and drizzle the onions with olive oil. Toss everything and bake in the oven till browned. Its that easy!

lavender roasted onions with thyme

Lavender and thyme go so well together with these roasted onions.

lavender roasted onions2

Don’t have lavender?
Use herbs de provence instead -
an easily available dried herb mixture that contains both thyme and lavender.




Lavender Roasted Onions Recipe
about 2 servings

2 medium onions
A pinch of dried lavender
½ tbsp fresh chopped thyme
¾ tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Peel and then cut each onion into wedges, keeping the root end intact. Place the onion wedges on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lavender, thyme, salt and pepper over the onions. Drizzle olive oil and toss everything to coat.

Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or till the onions are brown and crisp on the edges.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Muskaan July 15, 2009 at 6:30 am

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I see some wonderful photography, nice collection of pictures, unusual innovative recipes, overall very good job…



2 Soma July 15, 2009 at 7:38 am

Here I am :-) Looks like it is working…

This is one of your prettiest post. Wish I could experience something like this.



3 shaz July 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

Beautiful pics! Wish it was scratch and sniff. Can’t say I’ve ever had flower scented onions, sounds intriguing.



4 Vaishali July 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Those are some breathtaking pictures. I love the idea of lavender-picking– never done that before. I also don’t use lavender in cooking, so your post was really enlightening to me. Can’t wait to get started!



5 Laura July 15, 2009 at 1:17 pm

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I love fresh lavender. It’s easy to grow, returns year after year, and has too many dried uses to list. I’ve tried it in several baking recipes…but never a savory use. Will definitely be trying this one. Thanks!



6 Laavanya July 15, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Hey!! So good to see you back and I love the new look – your fabulous pics are always a treat to my eyes and this post is no exception. I would’ve never thought to combine lavender and onions – sounds delicious.



7 Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener July 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm

glad to see you back!

It’s funny I went to pick lavender at Seven Oaks Lavender farm about a month ago when my sisters were visiting. I use it to scent linens, for syrup (great for cocktails), cookies, mix into my own herbes de Provence and in custard (the latter two I used for this year Bastille Day menu). I love the suggestion to use it with onion (which, in my house, is a vegetable of which great quantities are consumed)



8 Rosa July 16, 2009 at 1:26 am

I love the fist picture! So pretty!

That recipe is great! I use lavender to flavor my leg of lamb…





9 Olga July 16, 2009 at 11:57 am

I can’t imagine lavender in my onions, but otherwise LOVE the photos and how the purple towel goes with the little flowers :)

Last year I was in WA state for lavender festival: fields and fields of purple.



10 Tangled Noodle July 16, 2009 at 5:49 pm

[Sigh] Your photos are extraordinary! This is a lovely post, wonderfully highlighting something that I must admit I don’t really view as an edible. But these roasted onions are amazing and many thanks for the links to others’ recipes. Bookmarked!



11 chakhlere July 17, 2009 at 12:33 am

Thanks for visiting my blog.
I am First time here. You have really very nice blog, amazing pictures and grt recipes. I am really impressed.

Lavender bath is a really cool idea. Will definitely try it.

And yes… Kitchen King Masala is a spice mix from MDH company. It can be used generally in any curry. Tastes amazing and gives great aroma. I use it in almost all the recipes. You will get it in any Indian grocery stores. Try it an let me know.



12 Parita July 17, 2009 at 8:52 am

Gorgeous clicks! I adore roasted and baked onions, wonderful idea of using lavender! There a lavender bushes outside my office, never got idea of using them in cooking :)



13 elaine October 13, 2009 at 12:51 am

Beautiful page, Sala – the pictures are just gorgeous. I know this is a veggiebelly site but for anybody who is not a vegetarian, lavender is delicious with roast lamb too. I find rosemary very harsh and pungent with lamb, and prefer the warmer gentler fragrance of lavender.
I place the (free-range) leg of lamb on top of a several whole unpeeled cloves of garlic and few generous twigs of lavender and then pour the following well mixed topping over before roasting:
1 cup Bulgarian yoghurt
6 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp black olive paste or macerated black olives
Do not baste as it will disturb the topping.
Roast until done.



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