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Chef Deborah Rivera-Pittorino’s pretty lavender scones. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Capturing the purple-blue blossoms of lavender at peak summer season will keep the smell of summer in your home all year long. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Lavender in bloom is one of the joys of summer. Its intoxicating aroma and vibrant purple-blue flowers bring an immediate, Mediterranean vibe to gardens and pots. In late spring, gallon-sized containers of the coveted Provence variety are fast sellers at places like Marders in Bridgehampton, where they use it frequently in perennial garden installations.

But in Europe, many home gardeners look beyond its aromatic and aesthetic value, where it’s planted alongside other must-have culinary herbs — oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme. Here, the plant’s pretty flower buds are likely to be used not only as a garnish but as a main ingredient to sweet or savory dishes.

“The first thing I did when I built the new wing at the Greenporter Hotel was to plant herbs and a magnificent lavender garden, which is still thriving under the new ownership,” says Deborah Rivera-Pittorino, chef and former owner of the Greenporter Hotel and restaurant in Greenport, NY and author of the recipe blog, Seasoned Fork.

Rivera–Pittorino frequently used fresh herbs at the restaurant for various recipes, but most popular with guests? Her freshly made lavender scones set out at her late summer breakfast buffets.

Don’t forget to brush the scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with lavender buds and sugar. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Today, she still adores the subtle floral aroma and flavor of the herb, using it in her catering and for entertaining at home, harvesting some of her lavender at its peak in July simply for the bright, cheerful color.

“We dried it and placed it in jars to cook with through the year,” she recounts, “not only in the scones but in shortbread cookies, lavender syrup for drinks or to enhance a fruit salad.”

Rivera-Pittorino’s zero-waste approach to cooking comes from over 25 years of teaching sustainable cooking classes on both forks and Shelter Island. From luncheons at the Hampton Classic to vineyard weddings on the East End, using lavender in her recipes has been the chef’s signature.

Set out these lovely scones at an al fresco brunch (perhaps with a bottle of Sparkling Pointe’s 2019 Cuvée Carnaval Blanc, with its just-right complementary floral pop from a little muscat in the mix) and savor the flavor of the end of summer.

Seasoned Fork’s garden lavender scones

Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp dried culinary lavender (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 425° F.
  • Use baking sheet and line parchment paper or baking pad.
  • Sift the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and add the lavender buds at the end. 
  • Add the cubes of butter to the dry ingredients by rubbing the butter together with dry until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
  • Add vanilla to your buttermilk (setting aside two tablespoons for brushing the scones).
  • Add milk to dry ingredients and combine. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead quickly until dough comes together.
  • Pat dough into a round shape and cut in half. Make two balls from that and pat down into flat but thick circular shape. 
  • Cut in half and then again until you have eight triangle-shaped slices.
  • Transfer the pieces spaced apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each scone with the buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar and lavender buds.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until puffed a bit and golden on top.
  • Cool on a rack. If you like, serve with your favorite jam (Rivera-Pittorino is partial to blueberry).