Janice Silva is a former Los Angeles city slicker, who says she didn’t really understand where her food came from until six years ago when she and her husband Bob moved to Atascadero in central California. They named their new home Green Acres and decided to grow lovely, fragrant and organic lavender.
They distill pure essential lavender oil on site from over 12,000 different varieties of plants. While Lavender is mostly known for it’s anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-pest properties, (and the fact that it just smells so darn good), it’s also a great cooking ingredient.
In fact, at Green Acres, Janice’s childhood friend Jennifer Naylor (renowned caterer, a member of the family who brought Los Angeles the classic Tiny Naylor’s restaurants and former executive chef at Wolfgang Puck’s, Granita) teaches lavender culinary workshops from time to time. There, she’ll show you how to infuse, steep, dry and grind the lavender to use in cookies and cakes, spice rubs (delicious with lamb), and delights like an icy shaved granita and lavender fruit tuiles. Here, see the fragrantly satisfying crostini with (lavender) herbed chevre and slow-roasted tomatoes.
Janice was also kind enough to share her recipe for a refreshing Lavender Lemonade. (see the post below.)