Drought over? Garden flourishing! That lemon verbena I planted 4 years ago, the one that struggled along throughout it all, is a big and bushy as the nose on the face of The Lorax. I planted lemon verbena for its seductive floral-citrus scent. I planted it right next to the patio door to enjoy its fragrance every time I brushed past it. I think that aromatic fantasy may finally happen. We’ll see… nonetheless, it’s a graceful herb that makes a lovely cuppa tea.
In fact, I’ve already made lemon verbena tea a couple of times this year. But there’s no post there. You don’t want to read about my quiet moments with homegrown herbal tea. So today I’m harvesting just enough to get my creative juices flowing.
If you love lemon flavor, make room for lemon verbena in your garden. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Do you know lemon verbena? It’s not a common herb where I live. Maybe I should start there. Lemon verbena is a bushy herb that’s native to South America. It has a distinct lemon lilt, though I don’t consider it a replacement for the lemon. Neither does it taste like any of the other lemon-based herbs you may be familiar with, like lemon balm, lemon mint, lemon thyme, and lemongrass. It has a lighter, less aggressive flavor which can be best described as lemon perfume. It has none of a lemon’s astringency, its clean, herbal taste evokes warm weather – powerfully fragrant with no hard edges.
So, as I was brushing past the patio door, I grabbed a fistful and came into the kitchen.
This is one of those recipes that goes like this: what have I got? what do I want? and how do I put them both together? Asparagus with Mozzarella and Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette. GREG