Culinary Lavender and Wine Pairings: A Holiday Menu
by Cristin McDonnell
The holidays are a chance to take your regular menu and enhance it by cooking with a variety of herbs that you may not regularly use. This year I am taking our usual holiday menu and adding a taste of Provence by cooking with lavender. In order to do this well, sommeliers Ian Honaker and Bethany Morris of Let’s Talk Wine, helped me pair wines with recipes that featured culinary lavender.
There are many options for appetizers. One that I personally enjoy is lavender focaccia bread. This bread is delicious dipped in olive oil and pairs with the Italian white wine, Suavia Soave Classico 2014. If you are looking for appetizers that can be made quickly and pair with this beautiful wine, some other options include roasted olives with lavender & truffle oil, crostini with ricotta and lavender honey, or you can make your own lavender chips (lavash) and serve them with hummus.
For the main course, lavender is a nice addition to roasted dishes, such as roasted leg of lamb. This dish pairs with several red wines, such as Eric Kent Kalen’s Big Boy Blend Syrah 2012 or Chateau De Saint Cosme Gigondas 2012. Chateau De Saint Cosme Gigondas is a blend of Grenache , Syrah and Mourvèdre.
If you prefer to serve chicken, turkey or seafood, such as scallops, you can pair these lavender culinary dishes with Bisol Presecco Di Valdobbiadene Crede 2012, the flavor of this sparkling Italian wine reflects a fruity bouquet with its scents of apples and pears.
And for dessert…lavender pairs well with cream and fruit based dishes. Try this lavender crème brulee or pan seared apricots and figs with lavender and honey. Either of these desserts are sure to impress your guests. Pair these lovely desserts with Marenco Scrapona Moscato d’Asti. This wine is fresh and sweet, with hints of citrus, honey, and lime, making this the perfect pairing for lavender desserts.
If you aren’t a fan of wine, you can always pair a lavender dish withNot a fan of wine? Try pairing a lavender dish with beer.
beer. Try Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ or Sweetwater Brewing Company’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.
There are two general rules when it comes to cooking with lavender:
1.) Always go light on the use of lavender
2.) Use a high quality culinary grade lavender
Happy Holidays from Harms Vineyards and Lavender Fields!