I was showing pictures from my recent trip to Croatia to a friend and I found myself lamenting the fact that my trip was about a week before the fields of lavender were in bloom. The same thing happened when I went to Provence, the other place I’ve been that is specifically known for its beautiful purple fields of lavender.
Then it dawned on me–it’s time to stop whining about “problems” that are far from being actual problems. Not to mention the fact that I’ve got 2 bushy lavender plants in my own yard that are purple and incredibly fragrant right now. It’s time to start seeing the forest through all these dang trees.
And it’s dinner time. Let’s fire up the grill and rub lamb chops with the fragrant lavender buds then brush them with honey. We’ll serve them up with smashed white beans, pop open a bottle of wine, and settle in for leisurely, lavender-scented evening on the patio.
Prepping is quick, just make a simple rub and massage it into the meat. Lavender buds get pulled off the stem, bruised, and paired with minced garlic, chopped rosemary, coarse salt, and cracked black pepper. If you feel like splurging, by all means, go for the rack of lamb, but I used lamb loin chops because they are delicious and about half the price. I imagine this rub would be good on any cut of lamb or beef or chicken. Go crazy.
While the meat absorbs all the herby goodness, you better figure out what you’re going to serve with it. I opted for smashed cannellini beans with lots of olive oil and a few grilled garlic scapes. A big bowl of greens from the garden made it to the table as well.
Grill time! Get a nice sear on the lamb chops over direct heat, then transfer to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Brush with lavender honey. Remove from the grill and let them rest for a patience-testing 10 minutes.
Whether it’s plucked from a hilltop in Croatia, a field in Provence, or just snipped from the bush in my oh-so-exotic yard in Minneapolis, lavender is a beautiful thing. Get your hands on some and get cooking!
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Lavender Buds
- 1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, minced
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper, coarsely ground
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Honey
- 6 sprigs Fresh Lavender
- 4 Lamb Loin Chops (about 1½#)
- Gently rub the lavender buds between your index finger and thumb to release the oils. Place in a small bowl along with the rosemary, pepper, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Pat the lamb chops dry with a paper towel. Rub the herb mixture into the lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine the honey with the remaining sprigs of lavender in a tiny saucepan. Gently heat until the honey takes on the fragrance of the lavender, about 5 minutes over low heat.
- Light the grill (I use charcoal). Create 2 cooking zones--a very hot zone for searing the meat and a medium-hot zone for finishing the meat.
- Sear the lamb chops over the hottest part of the grill until they form a nice crust on each side, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to to the cooler side. Brush with the lavender-scented honey and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes (or a little longer if you prefer your lamb more well-done). Transfer to a plate, loosely tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.