Gardening expert Jekka McVicar shares lemony herb-infused recipes from her first major cookbook, Jekka's Herb Cookbook.
Lemon Balm: This invasive herb is incredibly useful (and underused) in the kitchen. Harvest its leaves for cream cheeses, vinegars, dressings and veggies. You can also use it to make a mildly sedative tea to ease headaches, indigestion and nausea. Read more about lemon balm.
• Almond and Lemon Balm Stuffed Apples
Lemongrass: This tropical grass is lemon-scented with robust cream and beige cane-like stems. Towering 3 to 6 feet, this flavorful herb is often used in southeast Asian cooking. Its lemon flavor complements curries, seafood, garlic and chiles. Read more about lemongrass.
• Lemongrass Oil
Lemon Verbena: This herb shows off pale green lance-shaped leaves that smell strongly of lemon sherbet. For the best flavor, harvest in early summer. Use to flavor oils, vinegars, fruit puddings, fruit salads and jellies. Read more about lemon verbena.
• Lemon Verbena Crème Brûlée
Jekka McVicar grows more than 650 herb varieties on her herb farm in South Gloucestershire, England. The United Kingdom’s leading organic herb grower, Jekka’s Herb Farm has won more than 60 gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, including 14 at the renowned Chelsea Flower Show.
As well as the day-to-day running of the farm, Jekka is also well-known for her regular appearances on television and radio broadcasts on gardening and cookery and as an enthusiastic writer on herbs, having published five books.
Jekka will be the keynote speaker at the 2011 Herb Society of America educational conference, to be held June 23 to 25 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, see www.herbsociety.org.
Used with permission from Jekka’s Herb Cookbook by Jekka McVicar (Firefly Books, 2011).