Lemon and lilac are a statement-making duo sure to add a bright lift to your wardrobe any day, even in the throes of winter’s white. Both sophisticated and trendy, the exciting color combination isn’t just a fashion statement; cooking with lemon and lilac brings a fresh taste to the palate during cooler months as well.
Here are a few ideas for looking stylish and cooking with flair using tried-and-true lemon and lilac.
Cooking with Lemon and Lilca
Zesty lemons and aromatic lilacs are a sensational combination in the kitchen as well. You can extract a tremendous amount of flavor from lilacs to add a sweet and floral tone to any dish. Once lilacs are in bloom this spring, impress everyone you know by whipping up fun flower recipes that the whole family will enjoy. You can use this edible flower for baking, roasting, canning, decorating and even putting a new twist on favorite beverages.
Before cooking with organic lilacs, gently wash the fragile blossoms. Separate into small clusters and remove the green stem from each flower. One bunch yields a ½ cup to 1 cup, and 1 cup is approximately 40 to 60 blossoms.
Looking Stylish with Lemon and Lilac
Although lilac blossoms won’t pop up in your backyard for a few more months, the calming pastel purple of this sweet spring flower can enliven your winter wardrobe, especially when it is paired with an energetic lemon yellow.
So get adventurous. How much of your closet is already devoted to eye-catching prints and bold colors? These softer shades in casual clothes are very pleasing and create a poetic feel. Choose a lemon or lilac flowy dress, top off a delicate skirt with one or step out in pastel-colored skinny jeans. Start by mixing in some lighter shades of purple, such as this fashion-forward Swing Skirt, graceful Vintage Drape Top or slim-fit Colored Denim Capris.
A Few Great Recipes
Roasted Asparagus with Lemons and Lilacs
After prepping the asparagus by trimming the ends and peeling the lower halves, arrange the stalks in a single layer on a pan lined with parchment paper. Season the spears with a light coating of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and Herbs de Provence. Roast for 10 minutes at 375° F. Drizzle lemon juice on top of asparagus then garnish with lilac blossoms and lemon slices. Pair with beef tenderloin for a delightful dinner.
These shimmering petals are stunning atop a cupcake or adorning a Sunday morning crêpe. Over medium heat, constantly stir 1 cup sugar and a ½ cup of water until the candy thermometer reaches 220° F. After the mixture cools to room temperature, use tweezers to quickly dip in each blossom. Alternatively, you can brush each flower with beaten egg whites.
Place bottom down on a piece of waxed paper lightly covered in finely granulated sugar. Sprinkle the top of the flower with more sugar. The syrup takes approximately four hours to dry, uncovered. Flip the flowers over occasionally.
Lilac and Lemon Syrup
Using this simple syrup as a base, you can concoct numerous recipes in the kitchen. You can store a batch in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Place 3 cups of plucked lilac blossoms into a bowl and pour in 2 cups of boiling water. After steeping for 2 hours, stir in a ½ cup of sugar and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Boil mixture on medium-high for 7 minutes or until sugar dissolves. For a twist, add fresh blackberries, raspberries or blueberries. While boiling, squash the berries with a wooden spoon. Strain liquid into a glass container, and discard the solids.
For a refreshing beverage, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of Lilac and Lemon Syrup to an 8- ounce glass of ice cold or sparkling water. Garnish with sliced lemon and fresh lilac blossoms.
To create a grownup version of this sweet treat, fill a martini shaker with ice then add 3 ounces of vodka and 2 ounces of syrup. Shake, pour and garnish with blossoms.
Pour 2 ½ cups boiling water over 2 cups packed lilac blossoms. After steeping for 8 hours, strain out the flowers. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 box of powdered pectin to the lilac infused water, and then bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in 4 cups of sugar. Once it begins to boil again, remove from heat and skim off the top foam. Ladle into canning jars then dip into a water bath for 10 minutes. Do not be alarmed if your mixture drastically changes colors throughout the process. It will likely transition from a greenish-pink to electric pink to a light yellow.
So the next time you’re feeling cooped up, break out the springtime shades in casual clothing and cooking ingredients and brighten the mood by bringing the calming sense of lemon and lilac inside your home.
By Alison Johnston A Denver based writer looking to find her voice in the writing world. She loves getting her hands dirty in the kitchen and taking long walks in the snow.