If you were to ask me right now what my favorite herb is, I would have to say lavender. Lavender! I know, it’s an odd one. Not one that usually comes to mind when you think about your favorite herb. Basil, yes. Tarragon, maybe. But, lavender?
Well, right now, I am all about lavender. It is in all of my flower beds, looking gorgeous (and if I was coordinated enough, tomorrow’s garden Tuesday would have lavender pics, maybe, but don’t hold your breath). I have bouquets of it in practically every room of my house. The kitchen is perfumed with the flowers that I have drying to be used all winter long.
So, let’s recap, shall we…it’s gorgeous in the flower beds, it can be cut and brought in for bouquets, and it can be used for cooking. What more do you need to know? Well, you might need a suggestion on how to use it the kitchen. And, boy do I have one for you. Honey-Lavender Ricotta Ice Cream. I found it in Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2009: Every Recipe...A Year's Worth of Cooking Light Magazine. But you can also follow the recipe link to the Cooking Light website.
This was so good. I didn’t have fresh ricotta cheese, just used some regular old store bought (though it was organic from very happy cows). I can’t describe the flavor of this, imagine a sort of flowery cheesecake, frozen. It was so rich a creamy, almost chewy. I started immediately thinking of other ideas to infuse the ricotta with …. chocolate, raspberries, strawberries…really the possibilities are endless.
Honey-Lavender Ricotta Ice Cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
- 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 45 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in lavender. Let stand 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Combine ricotta cheese, honey, and salt in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly add lavender syrup through the food chute. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm.