I must admit, I'm not much of a culinary lavender fan. I often see perfectly good chocolate made sadly inedible by the application of lavender, and I once met a lavender cookie that sat pitifully on a plate for days - no takers. Lavender mussels, however, are simply an exceptional combination of flavors and something I look forward to each time of the year when the lavender starts to bloom. If you don't have access to fresh lavender, Bucks on 5th sells dry culinary French lavender at very reasonable pricing, (a dollar will get you plenty!) and we will have 1/2 T portions of their product available by Thursday at no cost with purchase of mussels while our supplies last.
~serves two, for dinner~
- 1.5 pounds mussels
- 2 T butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 sprigs lavender (or 1/2 T dry lavender)
- 1 cup rose' wine
- pasta or bread, as needed
De-beard and rinse your mussels. In a large pan that has a lid, melt the butter over medium heat and then add the garlic. Sauté the garlic for one minute, then stir in the lavender and let it cook for another 30 seconds or so.
Pour in the rose' wine and spend a moment observing as you swirl things around - the combination of the pink wine and purple lavender is a visual delight.
Add the mussels to the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high and pop the lid on. After 2-3 minutes, remove the lid and give the mussels a little bit of a toss - we're wanting to get the ones that have already opened up and over, and get the ones still tightly closed into the hot spot. Cook for another 3-4 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally, and then remove them from the heat. We're going for about 6 - 8 minutes total cooking time but we want all (or very nearly all) the mussels to open up for us before we call it good.
Remove any unopened mussels to discard, and then pour the entire pot into a large dish and serve with crusty bread for dipping, or pasta to soak up the broth. Enjoy!