“Mommy, Mommy…you’ll never guess what color Daddy’s hair is now!” my 7 year old daughter excitedly reported over the telephone one day (while she was on tour with Duran Duran.)

Tatjana in the South of France

“What color Tatjana?” I replied a bit blase…after all, how many wives can say their husband wore the same shade of pink Yves St. Laurent lipstick as they did at their wedding? Nick changed his hair color so often during the years we spent together it was hardly front page news…

My favorite Jacaranda tree in full bloom last week
“It’s PURPLE!” she shouted, and then I heard Nick in the background correcting her “it’s lilac Tatjana, lilac!” ….A great example of one of the qualities I loved most about Nick…his tendency towards eccentricity.

English lavender is one of my favorite colors and flavors. The blue-lilac flowers add a wonderful fragrance to food when used sparingly (too much will make you feel as though you are eating perfume). It can be used in almost any savory recipe that calls for rosemary as a substitute, and
English lavender

it is divine in sweets such as custards, cakes, and sorbet…pairing well with lemon, chocolate, and even Champagne. If you are fortunate enough to have lavender growing organically in your garden then it will be readily available, but if not, make sure you use culinary lavender to avoid nasty pesticides.
Culinary lavender

I love to write recipes with ingredients people would not normally associate with a dish such as cocoa or cinnamon as a spice in savory dishes (as opposed to the obvious sweet ones), and in this case lavender…a herb used for centuries that is gaining in popularity again in more recent times. I call this painting with flavor…I enjoy making your taste buds pop with the unexpected.
Balsamic-Lavender Lamb Chops
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds sirloin lamb chops, 2 chops per person
  • 1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh lavender, 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chopped, (or 2 teaspoons of dried culinary lavender)
  • 1 large cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1). Preheat the broiler.

2). Remove the petals of the lavender from the stem, and chop finely. Mix together with balsamic, sugar, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring frequently, and reduce the heat to low. Reduce to a thicker sauce by simmering another 8-10 minutes. Let sauce cool to room temperature. Sauce can be stored in refrigerator for up to a month.

3). Season lamb chops with salt and pepper. Broil in the oven, 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve lamb chops hot, drizzled with balsamic-lavender reduction.

 

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