The Grocer: Lemon Verbena

The Grocer: Lemon Verbena

If you love the energising aroma of lemon, get your hands on a bunch of lemon verbena – an aromatic little plant that’ll freshen up your garden, flavour your nosh, and add zest to your tea.

Move over parsley and basil, there’s a new herb staple in town: lemon verbena. Whether it’s contained within a small pot, or let loose to grow up to 8 feet tall, the leaves of the lemon verbena plant offer a fresh, lemony flavour and a seductive citrus scent. Lemon verbena is unique in that it doesn’t taste like any other lemon-based plants, such as lemon balm, lemon mint, lemon thyme or lemon grass. Instead, it has a lighter, less aggressive flavour that can be best described as lemon perfume.

To add zest and aroma to fish, salads, and steamed vegetables, simply throw a few thinly sliced leaves into your dish and let them work their magic. If you prefer a trusted recipe to work with, get your lemon fix by brewing a pot of lemon and mint tea, baking a lemon verbena pound cake with strawberries, or grilling some lemon verbena chicken kabobs with caramelised spring garlic.

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