A Public Quest for Interesting Food Finds in Huntington

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

LAVENDER – who knew?

There’s nothing like a serious event, when you really need your friends, to define who they are… Several years ago I sustained an injury that left me helpless for months. Anne and I had always been friends on the fringe, enjoying each other’s company from time to time. When I hurt myself she stepped up out of nowhere – bringing meals, keeping me company and taking me for drives to change the scene. Now we are very good friends and somewhere along the way we developed a lavender challenge.

Challenge isn’t the right word, exactly. We started out treating each other to bunches of fresh lavender when we came across them. Last week she brought me a fresh lavender plant, a cookbook on how to cook with lavender, and because she was worried the plant wouldn’t yield enough, she went to Penzey’s Spices and bought me not one, but two jars of dried lavender (and some lavender napkins).

Lavender? So I’ve been flipping through the cookbook, intrigued. Okay, I accept the challenge. Last night I made a pappardelle with a lavender cream sauce with shiitake mushrooms, slow cooked tomatoes and grapes – served with grilled lamb sausage and steamed sugar snap peas, so sweet they practically caramelized themselves.

I was excited about the meal so I stopped by Seaholm Wines & Liquors to ask for a recommendation of wine that would accompany lavender. (I’ll bet they don’t get asked that very often.) With little hesitation, John Reilly pointed me toward a Grenache, Atteca Old Vines 2007, with deep blackberry tones. John was right on target, the wine complimented the sweetness of the meal beautifully.

We finished up with some sheep’s cheese and sliced fruit I had bought at the Union Square Farmer’s Market earlier that day. My mother-in-law and I scooted in to load up on interesting vegetables, artisan breads and cheeses, lamb sausage and a smoked duck that I’d been craving.

Tomorrow night… leftover pasta with the lavender cream sauce, but I’m planning to shred in a handful of smoked duck and add asparagus to the mix. I’ll have to stop back at Seaholm and ask what wine goes with lavender AND smoked duck…

One point for me in the lavender challenge. You reading this Anne?


  1. hi Lila: I've scored 5 points now because of my planting skills.

  2. I have a recipe for Lavender Shortbread Cookies. Let me know if you're interested.

  3. want to move into my house and cook foe me??? -love doo