Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Capture Summer Flavor with an Herbal Honey - How Tuesday

I used up the last of my personal stash of lavender honey making frozen pops (see the how to on July 21.) So I needed to make a honey for flavoring my iced tea and grilling sauces.  I wanted something with a bright summer flavor and decided that lush summer herbs would be perfect.

The lavender was blooming,

the scented geraniums were flourishing and
Mabel Grey Scented Geranium

and the lemon thyme, well I grow a lot of that.

However this combination of herbs will make a citrus scented, flower accented honey that will capture the essence of a blooming warm summer day.

Here is how I made Summer Herb Flavored Honey:
lemon thyme, lavender, lemon rose geranium and rose geranium (lft to rt)
I gathered honey (I get mine locally from a bee keeper who used to be my neighbor) and my ingredients.


Warm the honey so that is it soft and liquid.  You can do this in a saucepan or as I prefer in a microwave.  Heat for 45 seconds and test to see if it is liquid enough.  I ten began by adding the thyme, then the scented geranium.

I chose two varieties, the small round leaves are old fashioned rose geranium and the irregularly shaped ones are a lemon/rose cross called Hillary (yes that Hillary).  They are two of my favorite scented geraniums and this year I am propagating them (POST TO COME SOON) several different ways.

I added the geraniums to the honey.  Note that the jar is not full.  It is hard to estimate how much displacement will happen when you add the herbs to thick honey, so you start with a jar half full.


The final herb added was the lavender flower heads.  I tucked them in and used them to stir the other herbs into the honey.


Once I got the herbs down into the honey, I put the lid on the jar and turned it upside down and let the herbs and honey flow to the other end of the jar.  Once it collected, I flipped it over and let it settle again. 


I did this for 24 hours until the herbs were well coated with honey.  Only then did I fill the jar the rest of the way.  


Now I wait two weeks before this honey will be fully infused with the flavor of these summery herbs and ready to use.


Flavor of Summer Honey

2 cups Honey
2 Tbls Lavender
2 Tbls fresh lemon thyme sprigs
1 Tbls rose Scented Geranium
1 Tbls lemon rose Scented Geranium

Directions: 
Warm the honey in a saucepan or in the microwave until thin and liquid.          

Here is a great recipe to use with this Flavor of Summer Honey.

Herb Salad with Lemon and flavored Honey (Serves 4)
This recipe originated from the Niagara Estate Winery and uses a wide variety of herbs to make a flavorful salad enhanced by the herb flavors in the honey. The lemon juice brings out the citrus notes in the honey.  It makes this salad a treat for the tastebuds.

½ cup baby arugula
1 bulb fennel, fronds attached
1 bunch basil (green or purple)
1 bunch tarragon
1 bunch dill
1 bunch of chervil or parsley
1 bunch of chives
2 lemons, juiced 
2 Tbls flavored honey (Flavor of Summer Honey is perfect)
2 Tbls olive oil

Directions:

Pick the green fronds from the fennel bulb and reserve. Cut fennel in half, vertically, and slice thinly. If possible, use a mandolin. Gently pick the leaves off of the basil, tarragon, dill and chervil and place in a bowl. Slice chives very finely and add to bowl.  Toss in the cut fennel and arugula.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, honey and olive oil, mixing well. Finish by seasoning your salad with salt and pepper to taste.

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