Monday, September 22, 2008

Lemon Verbena

We grew lemon verbena this year at ThistleDew and if you've never grown it, I strongly suggest that you find some for next spring. It has an amazing lemon smell and flavor - I bruise a leaf and add it to a glass of water when I want something other than plain water.

Epicurious has some wonderful recipes using lemon verbena - you can find them here: I want to try the custard, and the lobster salad, and berries and lemon verbena cream.... can you tell I'm a bit partial to lemon flavor?

My next project is lemon verbena liqueur. It sounds incredibly simple - just chop some lemon verbena leaves, steep them in vodka and add sugar. Evidently you can use the liqueur in desserts and in selzer water for a light mixed drink. I also think it would be good in hot tea in the winter. I know that a little lemon flavoring goes a long way, so we'll see if this turns out too strong.

Because verbena won't survive the winter outside, I've taken cuttings to winter over in the garage. I'll cut the main plant down to a nub and mulch it heavily - it can't hurt, and maybe it will come back next year. If it doesn't, some of its babies should survive and we can start again next year. If you're in or around East Tennessee, let me know, and I'll start a couple of extra cuttings for you!



simple~needs said...

gotta tell you, i grow lemon balm. and i love the stuff. there are so many uses!! i have used it regularly in iced tea and it is so calming.

Terri said...

We didn't have much luck with lemon balm this year - it didn't like being crowded in with the mints, I think. :( But the lemon verbena grew like crazy, and I also have lemongrass which I'm going to try to overwinter in the garage.

You'll have to tell me your secret for growing the lemon balm!