So I left off at lavender appetizers and cocktails… and now I will introduce the salad and our side dish in this post. I think the salad was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. It was easy and elegant at the same time. The dressing was incredible. The goat cheese theme continued… and then it got stinky with some blue cheese in the side dish.
Goat Cheese – cut into medallions
Panko Bread Crumbs
Directions: Combine bread crumbs, fresh thyme, ground pepper and ground culinary lavender in a bowl and mix. There were no measurements involved… just a pinch here and there with the lavender, thyme and pepper – enough to coat the goat cheese medallions before baking them in the oven. Bake until the panko gets crispy and serve warm on the bed of dressed greens.
Notes from Kristen: The Chèvre sliced horribly, it fell apart in the coating… had to form patties to coat. Perhaps a dip in olive oil would help the panko stick better.
Lavender Honey Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 Tablespoons Lavender Honey – Kim made the honey before our get together
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/3 – 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Large Garlic Clove – finely minced
1/2- 1 Teaspoon Coarse Dijon Mustard
Directions: The dressing was made in a jar. The amount of oil varies depending on how much juice you get out of your lemon. There was lots of tasting between jar shakes and adjustments were made.
Notes from Kristen: Not much measuring with the dressing since it was a basic vinaigrette. 1/3 cup oil – 1/2 that amount of lemon juice. 2 tablespoons honey, 1teaspoon Dijon…no measuring of spices – just several twists of the grinders – taste – adjust. Might use regular honey next time and add lavender to the dressing, since it was a little difficult to detect the presence of the lavender. The recipe could easily be adjusted for thyme, rosemary, basil, etc., just use the same in the coating and dressing.
Kristen had the toaster oven set to 350 degrees F. so the cheese wouldn’t melt too quickly before the panko browned. It took about 15 minutes. We ended up transferring the cheese to the conventional oven to speed up the process.
I grabbed a second cheese medallion because I ran out of the first one and still had greens left… at least that’s the story I’m telling here. OMG, they were fabulous… and the dressing will be made over and over by me for sure. Since Kim made the lavender honey ahead of time, I wasn’t sure what was needed – so I did some research on my own.
Lavender Honey Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lavender Flower or 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons Dried Lavender Flower Buds
16 oz. Honey – Choose a light colored honey like clover honey
Put the lavender flowers and honey into a saucepan over medium heat to gently warm. Stir and mix together the lavender flower and the honey. Allow it to sit over the lowest setting for gentle heat about 1/2 hour then pour while it is still warm into a container that has a lid. A glass jar would be good. Set aside for a week or so in a cool place, then strain out the flowers and re-bottle.
Note: You definitely need to plan ahead by making the lavender honey… or you could just purchase it from Amazon, HomeGoods, World Market, Whole Foods or some other specialty store.
Next up… Sweet Potato Fries Topped with Lavender and Blue Cheese
This was the dish given to me. I was emailed the recipe and I honestly didn’t really study it until I got to Kim’s on Saturday. Things were kind of crazy with hosting 4th of July at the house.
I’m a huge sweet potato fan… not a big blue cheese fan, but I was interested in how everything would taste together.
1 Heaping Teaspoon Sea Salt – ended up adding a little more later
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper – the amount definitely added a kick to the fries
3-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Blue Cheese Crumbles – as much as you prefer
2 Teaspoons Ground Lavender – the sprig was just for the photo
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Wash/peel/cut yams into 1/4 inch thick sticks
- Put cut up yam into a plastic bag; add salt, pepper and olive oil and shake yam sticks until they are coated.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper (we used a Silpat silicone mat) and place fries in a single layer.
- Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, place on serving plate and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, lavender and more salt.
The fries took the entire 30 minutes and they never really got crispy – deep fried would have been the way to go for perfection. I heat from the cayenne lessened with the addition of the blue cheese. I think I might have gone a little too light on the lavender, I ended up sprinkling a little more on mine so I could really taste it.
Both dishes were successful – with some minor tweaks, I think they could pair well with just about anything.
Next up – another stab at salmon – Cedar Planked Salmon with Lavender and Chocolate Lavender Brownies. I promise that will be it for lavender – I just got really excited about my new cooking group and wanted to share all of the recipes we used.