Hi all, Julie from Julip Made here and while Victoria is off gallivanting around the south of France, I thought I’d try to bring you all taste of Provence. When I think of my time in Provence, one of the lasting impressions I have ingrained in all of my senses is Lavender. If you are driving through Provence with your windows open in June, the first thing that will hit you is the intense smell of lavender. Then as you actually approach the fields, the color will engulf your vision, and the smell will become so strong you can almost taste it. Today I’ve put together some sips and snacks inspired by lavender and composed to pair well with it.
Lavender French 75
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce lavender simple syrup
1 ounce gin
*Makes 1 cocktail.
To make lavender simple syrup, bring 1 cup water and a handful of lavender sprigs (10 at least) to a boil in a small saucepan. Add ½ cup sugar and reduce heat to low. Stir constantly until sugar disappears. Turn off heat and let steep for 2-3 hours. Once simple syrup is cool, bottle and store for use.
To make cocktail, mix lemon juice, lavender simple syrup and gin in a cocktail shaker. Pour in a glass and fill the rest of the glass with chilled champagne. Garnish with lavender sprig and lemon twist.
I created a savory and sweet snack to pair with the lavender cocktail. Using crostini as my base, I tried to use flavors that would complement the fresh, fragrance of the lavender. For the savory snack, that included lemon, fresh herbs, and zucchini.
Herbed Goat Cheese and Lemon Zucchini Crostini
Baguette, sliced diagonally and lightly toasted
4 ounces goat cheese
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons, minced fresh herbs (I plucked a few sprigs from each of the following plants: rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage, and savory, but you can use any combo you desire)
1 medium zucchini, sliced very thin diagonally (you can use a mandolin for this if you have one)
Salt and pepper
*Generously serves two people for a meal, or 4-6 people for small bites.
In a baking dish lay zucchini slices slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle lemon juice overtop. Let sit for 30 minute to 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix goat cheese, herbs and lemon zest until well blended. Once zucchini is marinated, spread goat cheese on crostini and top with a slice of zucchini.
To finish I created a sweet crostini that would satisfy those that can’t end a meal without something sweet, but would complement the other flavors of the meal. If you are really ambitious, I’d recommend making lavender honey to drizzle atop, but for this, I just used clove honey.
Crostini with Ricotta, Plums, and Walnut
Baguette (use the other half of the baguette from the zucchini crostini)
4 ounces ricotta, drained in a strainer for 30 minutes to remove some of the water so it won’t make your bread soggy
2-3 Plums, sliced thinly
1/3 cup walnuts, cut in half
Honey for drizzling
Spread ricotta on bread. Place plum slices on top. Sprinkle a few pieces of walnut. Drizzle with honey.
Thank you Victoria for letting me take over vmac+cheese today! Hopefully you all can try these sips and snacks and that they help transport you to the absolutely beautiful Provence, even if just for the evening. For more cocktail and food inspiration or even just to say hi, make sure to stop by Julip Made!
About the Column: I love Julie for many reasons, but one of them is definitely that we have a shared love of food. She knows her way around in the kitchen, that’s for sure, so if you’re in need of some culinary inspiration, for sure check out her delicious recipes!