It may sound like the excesses of wonderful lavender grown here on our delightful Jersey Lavender Farm may have gone to our heads, but recently we have been experimenting with a few new ways to use our delicious culinary lavender – and one of the surprising, but surprisingly delicious discoveries we made was lavender with fish!
Before we go any further, it is worth having a quick word about the actual lavender that you use for your cooking. Although in theory you can use any lavender in your cooking, as lavender is an edible plant that isn’t going to poison you, we do recommend that you only ever use a specific culinary lavender in your dishes. Our culinary lavender comes from our native lavender angustifolia variety. This gives a much smoother and mellower lavender flavour than other varieties which can sometime err on the side of pungent. Also our culinary lavender has not been subject to any chemical fertilisers, weed killers or pesticides and has been specially sieved for food use.
So what are some of our favourite ways in which you can cook fish with lavender?
Grilled Salmon with Lavender
The oily flavour of salmon is really complimented and lifted by the floral lavender in this simple, yet delicious recipe. Firstly make a sauce by bubbling together equal parts of honey, olive oil with half the amount of white wine vinegar or lemon juice and a few teaspoons of culinary lavender. Cook the sauce until it has reduced by a third. Then simply spoon a little of the sauce over a seasoned salmon fillet, before grilling it under a medium heat. During cooking, occasionally baste the salmon with the sauce, and grill until the fish is just cooked through and flakes easily.
Dukkah is a traditional Middle Eastern spice mix which combines ground toasted hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin seeds with lavender flowers, salt and pepper. This is delicious when sprinkled over lots of different types of fish, but we particularly like it with mackerel, before grilling or roasting.
Lavender Stuffed Sea Bass
Sea Bass is one of our favourite fish and a great way to cook it with lavender is to stuff the cavity of a whole fresh sea bass with a few slices of lemon and a light sprinkling of our lovely culinary lavender (remember that less is sometimes more with lavender!). The pop it under a grill or in a hot pan until the fish is cooked through and wonderfully scented with fragrant lavender. Also, don’t worry if you can’t get hold of a whole fish, you can sandwich 2 fillets together with the filling and secure with a couple of skewers during cooking.