Chemist in the Kitchen

July 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

Lavender Roasted Lamb with Medjool Date Relish

Lavender Roasted Lamb with Medjool Date Relish

On a recent trip to NYC I scored some incredible culinary lavender at the Union Square Market and decided to put it to good use. For those who have never cooked with lavender before, it is highly, highly suggested.


Also, Chemist in the Kitchen is officially 3 months old! WOW how the time flies, and it’s all thanks to that delicious gluten-free sweet potato gnocchi that became my first post ever. Thank you all for your support and encouragement in this food blog journey so far!


lavender in bag


Lavender has been well-known for its relaxation-promoting properties and health benefits since the 1600’s! Queen Elizabeth the First was apparently so obsessed with lavender that she demanded that it be available for her year-round, present on every table in every room, and would frequently drink lavender tea to prevent migraines. Queen Victoria loved the fragrance so much that she had it hand-sewn into every bed linen. Then again, who can blame them?


culinary lavender


Though many varieties of lavender are cultivated, the best for culinary use is English Lavender, or Lavandula augustifolia. English Lavender is the sweetest species of lavender available for culinary use, while other species tend to leave behind a strong bitter aftertaste. The key to cooking with lavender can be boiled down into one word: experimentation. Lavender has a strong aroma and flavor and a little goes quite a long way. Always make sure to purchase either culinary dried lavender or pesticide-free fresh lavender—do NOT use lavender from your local florist unless you are 100% certain that it is pesticide free!


lavender roasted lamb


medjool date relish

I love to pair lavender with other strong flavors that can stand up to the lavender’s strong contribution to the dish. Lavender is notorious for its pairing with red meat, my favorite being lamb. This recipe involves marinating a deboned leg of lamb in lavender, rosemary, and garlic prior to roasting and devouring. The lamb cuts like butter and has just the right amount of lavender to every bite. Paired with a spiced medjool date relish, this dish is both easy and delicious—the perfect combination for your next impressive dinner.


With love,



Lavender Roasted Lamb with Medjool Date Relish

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

3-4 servings


    For the lamb:
  • 3 pounds leg of lamb, deboned (ask for clean weight)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp dry culinary lavender
  • 2 Tbsp dry rosemary
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
    For the relish:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp agave or honey
  • 4 Tbsp water


    For the lamb:
  1. Trim the fat off the lamb as much as possible. Make 10-15 1-inch incisions into the meat and stuff each incision with the thinly sliced garlic.
  2. Combine the olive oil, rosemary, and lavender in a small bowl. Rub half of the mixture onto the inside of the leg of lamb. Roll up the leg of lamb and rub the remaining mixture onto the outside of the lamb. Tie up with kitchen string for every inch of the leg of lamb. Place on a shallow baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to marinate in the fridge for minimum 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Roast the leg of lamb for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and roast for approximately 45 minutes, until the thickest part of the meat reads a minimum of 145 degrees F (medium rare). If you prefer your lamb cooked more thoroughly, remove when the thickest part reads 160 degrees F for medium or 170 degrees F for well done.
  4. Allow to cool for minimum 20 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve immediately.
    For the relish:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium flame. Sauté the shallots until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  2. Add the red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Allow to cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Combine the red wine vinegar in a food processor with the medjool dates, salt, and agave and pulse to combine. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in-between each tablespoon. Season to taste.
  4. Serve immediately.


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