A fantastically easy to grow herb, Lavender has a multitude of uses. With its distinctive taste and smell, it has seen somewhat of a resurgence in the last few years, as using it as a culinary ingredient has become once again en vogue.
A native plant of the Mediterranean it also thrives in the cooler British climes and can be grown both in the garden or containers – perfect for apartment dwellers with limited space!
Currently in season, this wonderful semi-shrub is not only beautiful to look at but delicious when used sparingly in sweet and savoury dishes. This shortbread recipe is a perfect way to display its uniquely fragrant flavour and a great introduction to cooking with this fabulously potent herb.
• 325g plain white flour
• 225g butter
• 150g caster sugar
• A handful of polenta
• A pinch of salt
• 3 sprigs dried lavender, seeds pulled off
Mix all the dry ingredients well, including the lavender seeds.
Add the butter (which must be cold and cut into small cubes) and rub in with fingertips until it combines into a smooth dough.
Press into a well buttered round 20cm cake tin and prod well with a fork.
Bake at 150 degrees C for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is golden brown all over.
Score into wedges using a sharp knife then leave to cool. Serve with strong coffee for an afternoon treat or with lemon ice cream as a dessert.
Feline Charpentier has been baking professionally since 2006, featuring in Guardian Food Monthly, Country Living magazine and is now contributing to Sublime. She runs Matilda’s Bakehouse, a catering business which includes a mobile wood fired pizza oven. Named after her daughter, the business takes her all over the North West and beyond.
See Feline’s other recipes on Sublime Online:
Soft White Potato Bread
Garlic & Herb Focaccia Traybake