Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 17 & 18 - Strawberries with Lemon Sugar and Lavender Syrup

Lavender is such a great spring/summer flavor.  I used to make lemon and lavender tarts, lavender panna cotta, and lavender anglaise all the time at my old restaurant gig (not all at once).  One patron commented that my lavender panna cotta tasted like France!  I'm assuming that was a good thing. 

Lavender might be hard to find for some.  I know you can try growing your own and dry out the flowers, but luckily Chicago has some great spice shops where lavender is pretty common so I don't have to go to such extremes.  Besides being excellent for cooking, dried lavender is good to steep with some camomile tea (or to put in some cheesecloth to freshen up your delicates...I saw that on Martha Stewart). 

Sugar: had
Lemon: had
Honey: had (I used the last of my awesome greek honey)
Lavender: had
Strawberries: $2.00
Sour cream: had

Total: $2.00

I didn't buy creme fraiche because I needed to buy sour cream for the crappy crabby tostadas from Thursday.  It was good with the sour cream, but I think the creme fraiche would have been more delicate with the lavender, honey, and strawberry flavors.


FAST:  Not too bad.  Cutting the strawberries takes about 5 minutes.  The syrup takes about 10 (including a little cool down time).  The lemon sugar is about another 2 minutes.  So overall, about 17 - 20 minutes for this simple dessert.

EASY:  Yeah.  Grating the lemon peel and cutting the strawberries are the hardest tasks here.

FRESH:  Almost heavenly.  Summer berries would make this even better.

OVERALL:  I like this recipe.  The lavender syrup would make some great cocktails.  The only thing I didn't like was the lemon sugar sprinkle.  I would next time skip the extra sugar (extra calories) and just add a little grated lemon straight to the berries.  Can you imagine this on top of some great pound cake or sponge cake?  Yum!

Alright folks, it's been a fantastic week.  I need a day off.  See ya Tuesday!

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