Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Looking ahead...lots and lots of Lavender

They are really pulling out all of the stops in Ojai in preparation for the upcoming Ojai Valley Lavender Festival. In addition to the festival, check out these two lavender-themed cooking classes in June.

Karen Evenden, author of the cookbook and memoir, A Taste of Croatia, will be teaching a class at The Ojai Cooking School at The Lavender Inn on Saturday, June 20, at 1 pm. Learn how to prepare lemonade, savory tomato jam, seared scallops, a seasonal salad of chicken, pistachios and strawberries, and biscotti – all blessed with lavender. Please call the Lavender Inn at 646-6635 to reserve a space. The cost is $55 per person.

On a different, but still lavender note, join Nancy Michali at the Ojai Culinary Studio for “A Taste of Provence” on Sunday, June 28 at 12:30 pm. In this hands-on cooking experience you will prepare a salad, red snapper, grilled chicken, scalloped potatoes, carrots and fougasse (the flatbread of France), all with the flavor of Provence. Did you know that lavender is one of the key ingredients in Herbes de Provence? Enjoy your meal with a glass of wine and top it all off with Lavender Crème Brulée. The cost is $50 per person; sign up by calling 646-1124 or going to the website.

To get you in the mood, here is a simple recipe shared by Kyle Crowner of the Ojai Lavender Festival:

Lavender Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup lavender blossoms
Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat and add the lavender blossoms; cover and allow to steep for about 15 minutes. Strain into a jar and refrigerate. Use to sweeten homemade lemonade & iced tea, drizzle over fresh fruit or pound cake, sweeten strawberries, or add to heavy cream before whipping.


Unknown said...

I have always loved lavender but really don't know what to do with it. I will need to try the simple syrup!

Ventura Food Happenings said...

Yes, it sounds pretty simple and easy. Imagine it in a cocktail or iced tea....