While perusing the herb section at Whole Foods the other day, I noticed lavender leaves and thought to myself, this seems to be a not-so-new food trend but kind of uncommon, unless served in fancy restaurants. So being the gourmet goddess that I am, I decided to tackle this challenge and create a dish using the sweet-smelling herb. There are some rules when using lavender as I was told my by mother and after reading various food blogs: It's meant to be a subtle flavor and overusing it can remind the consumer of eating soap, which as some of you may know from the old school cursing punishment, nobody likes a mouthful of (my parents never used this technique when disciplining me, though). Since I still have a lot leftover, I will be experimenting in the future with lavender ricotta ice cream (stay tuned), and am excited for the results! For now, I just included my take of a chicken dish that is pretty popular in France, especially in the Provence region where the lavender fields grow. I didn't include a photo with this recipe because I didn't beautify the dish enough for my photographic standards, but according to my my sister, it was delicious!
Lavender Herb Baked Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula Salad
Makes 4 servings
4 small frozen chicken breasts or 2 large breasts cut in half
16 Brussels sprouts
1 c. frozen collard greens
4 c. arugula for salad
Lavender Herb Marinade:
½ c. brewed Tazo cucumber-white tea blend (I just made a large pot and poured out what I needed for the marinade, saving the rest to drink later—tea’s healthier than coffee anyway!)
1 packet of raw stevia
1 tsp dried parsley leaves
1 tsp chopped lavender leaves
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Combine the ingredients of the marinade in a small bowl.
2) Place frozen chicken breasts in a small casserole dish lined with aluminum foil.
3) Surround the chicken with the brussels sprouts and frozen collard greens.
4) Pour the marinade over the chicken and close the aluminum packet.
5) Place the dish in the refrigerator and let it thaw and marinate for 4-5 hours (You can prepare this before work and it'll be ready to bake after you come back! Or you can make it the night before and cherish the extra snooze time in the morning--take your pick!)
6) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7) Place casserole dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
8) Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Enjoy and Bon Appetit!