I realized that from my soapbox perch I had neglected to include the lavender dressing recipe the filing of which launched the whole World According to AARP blog the other day. Mea culpa!
In a Mediterranean climate, such as Santa Barbara, where we live part time, lavender grows everywhere–on roadsides, in gardens, in landscaped parking lot medians, in giant fields across the foothills in the Santa Ynez valley, everywhere–year round. With such lavender abundance, it’s nice to have some new simple things to do with it, on which point a yummy sounding easy lavender dressing recipe qualifies.
Thus, my motivation for clipping the AP article, by Phyllis Glazer that got picked up by our local daily bugle. Entitled “Give fruit salads flair by making them savory” Ms. Glazer’s piece contained not only the lavender dressing recipe, but a couple of other nutty, fruity, cheesy salads as well: Fresh Strawberry and Blue Cheese Salad, Lemons Stuffed with Piquant Fruit Salad and Lavender Dressing, and Fresh Fig, Feta, and Walnut Salad..
Here is the Lavender Dressing, or at least my lower carb variation on it:
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender leaves
6 packets Splenda
1 teaspoon ThickenThin not/Sugar (optional to thicken)
Mix water, lemon juice, lavender, and Splenda together in a small sauce pan and heat over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes to infuse lavender into liquid. Strain immediately to prevent dressing from becoming bitter. Stir in thickener while warm to dissolve and thicken slightly; chill dressing well. Splash over fresh fruit salad.
The recipe in Ms. Glazer’s article called for a fruit salad made of diced apricots and plums, with just a bit of minced fresh jalapeno pepper and for serving the dessert-cum-salad in the hollowed out halves of lemons. Really a pretty presentation, I thought. And I just love playing off the sweet of the fruits with the hot of the pepper and the sweet/sour of the dressing. Yummm.
For the most part, all the recipes in the article were reasonably carb friendly recipes as they were or with a few minor modifications. For instance replacing superfine sugar with Splenda (or stevia) in the Lavender Dressing and using fewer figs, more bok choy, and a little stevia or Splenda in place of the date syrup in the figgy salad maybe.
What’s ironic is that the recipe for the stuffed lemons onto which the lavender dressing goes contains fresh apricots. Yes, those very same apricots that turned up as #4 the AARP longevity list that happened to share the page above the fold with Ms. Glazer’s piece. The very same apricots that–thanks to AARPs keen insight into apparently unheard of (at least unpublished) research in lipid and cancer biochemistry–we now know are of paramount importance in keeping us healthier and letting us live longer by lowering cholesterol and reducing cancer risk…just so long as we don’t eat them with any protein or fat at dinnertime, I guess.