Lemon Verbena in the Kitchen Garden

March 31st, 2022

KITCHEN GARDEN  

LEMON VERBENA

Did you think that herbs were just for making tea?

Maybe not, but some herbs have endless uses, and this week I’m featuring the herb lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) that’s larger than you would expect to find in a herb garden so probably could fit into the back of a border but in a sunny location.

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Lemon verbena photo M Cannon
  • How would I describe the scent of lemon verbena?
I would say that lemon verbena has a bright, slightly sweet flavour with a strong hint of lemon.
The strong lemon scent of this herb is far less overpowering than the lemon flavor and fragrance of lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon mint, and lemongrass.

What does it look like?

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Lemon verbena is a vigorous growing deciduous shrub to 3 metres tall by 3 metres wide. 
The leaves are a lime green and lanceolate, and flowers appear in late spring until the end of summer almost. 
The flowers are white, quite small and appear in a panicle.
  • My plant is quite an old plant that I prune each winter to about 1 metre off the ground.

How to use lemon verbena?

  • As a flavouring in kombucha
  • Add leaves to a sorbet or ice-cream when making
  • Poach stone fruit in a sugar syrup with lemon verbena leaves
  • Infuse lemon verbena leaves in olive oil or vinegar-250 ml of olive oil with 6 leaves or to taste
  • Fish en papiotte with lemon verbena leaves

Corinne's Top Tip: 

Why not try  a gin and sonic with muddled lemon verbena. Made with half soda water and half tonic so less calories. 

Listen to the podcast.
Marianne is talking  Corinne Mossati, founder of  www.thegourmanticgarden.com
Gourmantic garden website. You can also follow Corinne for more delightful ideas on Instagram.
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