Did you ever roam around a small French village singing lyrics from Beauty and Beast? If you haven’t, we highly recommend it. One of the most magical weekends of my life was spent at my friend Marie’s grandparents home in the village of Ansouis — it sits just north of Aix en Provence in Luberon and has tiny winding streets, a closerie and a perfect French château. I was traveling with friends from Paris and a few culinary school classmates so the rosé was flowing and the food was, of course, excellent.
Diana and I have a magical connection. She attributes this to a common moon in Cancer. While I’m not well-versed on what that means, I trust her on that and see our connection even beyond the stars (and for your benefit), in all things food and travel. She took an epic trip with her family last summer and I insisted she visit Ansouis. She walked the same streets I did and appreciated the same incredible views and delicious aroma of lavender in the air. She bought some lavender in her travels and we knew we’d have to make something special with it. While lavender shortbread might make its way here in the future, we are marrying some of our summer loves, salmon, lavender and honey, for the ultimate fancy summer dinner that takes no time to prepare. After your dinner party disperses or you finish the leftovers, take the extra lavender, put it in a hot bath, pour yourself some rosé and pretend you’re in Ansouis.
ab + DZ
- 4, 8-ounce WILD salmon fillets, we love Alaskan King salmon in the height of summer but Coho is a close second
- ¼ cup honey - the more local, the better
- 2 teaspoons lavender buds, crushed
- French sel gris and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Rinse salmon fillets and pat dry. Set fillets on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Coat fillets with a thin layer of honey -- any extra can be drizzled on later. Sprinkle lavender buds over the salmon. Roast for 10-15 minutes until the fish just begins to flake. I like to eyeball it at around 8-10 minutes per inch of fish, but the fish will be done when you press it with your finger or a fork and it flakes easily. Season with salt and pepper while the fish rests and drizzle with any remaining honey for serving.
- We served this over thin, French green beans or haricots vert and some buttery roasted potatoes to really help us feel like we were in France, but feel free to experiment and let us know how it goes!