Cooking with Lavender: Lavender–Red Wine Butter

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Makes 1 1/4 pounds of flavored butter

Keep this tasty butter on hand in the freezer to add extraordinary flavor to steamed fish, broiled steaks, or other dishes.

• 1/4 cup red wine
• 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
• 3 finely minced shallots
• 1 teaspoon finely minced parsley
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1. In a nonreactive saucepan, boil the wine, lavender, shallots, and parsley until reduced to about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Add a teaspoon of salt, a dash of pepper, and the balsamic vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil again and allow to cool slightly.

2. Place the butter chunks in the bowl of a food processor and pour the liquid over them. Process until the butter is uniformly pink and workable. Shape by hand into two or three logs; wrap each in several layers of clear plastic wrap and freeze.

3. Remove from the freezer to slice off “pats” to top hot food. Return the unused portion to the freezer.

Adapted with permission from Lavender: Nature’s Way to Relaxation and Health by Philippa Waring. London: Souvenir Press, 1997.

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