Julian and I come from different flower families. I grew up with jasmine, gardenia, plumeria, orchids, flowers that get sweeter and more lurid in the heat. Julian, on the other hand, comes from a flower family more “country inn” than “tropical hothouse.” Think rose, geranium, lavender, the flowers that would scent the pages of Virgina Woolf’s diary. That sort of thing.
I’ve come to like lavender quite a bit, and anyone who comes to our apartment will see an explosion of lavender soap, body salt, detergent. We used to keep lavender in every windowsill until the dried-out buds littered the floor like purple rat droppings.
On that note! I made this granola to extend our lavender lust. I think it’s best to make this with a berry of some sort, preferably something in the blue-purple spectrum. Like rose and raspberry, lavender and blueberry just makes sense. It’s nice for the flower to be associated, if only by color, with a delectable fruit. If you happen to make a banana lavender cream pie or something equally random, you run the risk of your dessert tasting like you dropped it in potpourri.
Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get about 35 stems of lavender. Reserve buds from 8-10 stems then chop the remaining stripped and unstripped stems in hot water, just enough to cover, for 5 minutes. Mix 4 cups thick-cut oats with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/3 cup blueberry jam, 1 cup pecan pieces, and a pinch of salt. Add lavender-infused water. Discard the infused lavender. Bake in two batches on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes, until oats are golden. Let oats cool and harden, then add 1/3 cup dried wild blueberries and the reserved lavender buds, finely minced.
Note: All lavender is fragrant, but not all is edible. Buy it from the herb stand at the greenmarket, not the home section of Bed Bath & Beyond.
What other herbs and flowers would you put in your breakfast cereal? Leave your comments below!
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