Best Lemon Verbena Recipes
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Lemon Verbena Shopping Tips
Buy green leafy vegetables like arugula, watercress, and collards – they are good sources of vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like iron and calcium.
Lemon Verbena Cooking Tips
Brighten up sandwiches or salads with small, tender leaves like spinach and add larger, tougher leaves like kale to soups and stews.
Remove thick stems from dried lemon verbena, then run a knife through sprigs to break up into smaller pieces. Place in a food processor, add sugar, and pulse until well blended. Pass through a coarse-mesh sieve into an airtight container and cover.
Do Ahead: Lemon verbena sugar can be made 6 months ahead. Store at room temperature.
How would you rate Lemon Verbena Sugar?
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
Lemon Verbena Recipes
I always try to use fresh for cooking recipes when possible. Dried lemon verbena has the lemony flavor but it will have a different flavor in cooking than fresh.
This butter recipe is from Lemony Herbs, a cookbook by the Pennsylvania Heartland Unit of The Herb Society of America.
LEMONY STRAWBERRY BUTTER
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1-1/2 T. sugar
4 T. minced strawberries
1 t. minced fresh lemon balm
1 t. minced fresh lemon verbena
Mix together and let sit overnight if possible. This is wonderful with scones and tea biscuits.
This was a recipe from the Crate Cooking School in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. It originally was just for orange zest but I thought lemon zest would be good as well.
LEMON VERBENA ORANGE/LEMON BREAKFAST BUTTER
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3 T. fresh lemon verbena chopped
2 T. orange or lemon zest
Mix and chill overnight if possible.
I need to find the source of this cookie recipe and give credit. These are delicious.
LEMON VERBENA SUGAR COOKIES
2-1/2 c. flour
2 T. fresh lemon verbena, chopped
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1-1/2 t. lemon zest
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
extra sugar for rolling
Combine dry ingredients. Set aside. Beat butter, add sugar, eggs and vanilla in separate bowl. Beat until combined. Add half of flour mixture, beat. Stir in remaining dry ingredients with wooden spoon. Make rounded teaspoonfuls. Roll in extra sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are lightly browned. Cool.
This cookie recipe is from Today's Herbal Kitchen by The Memphis Herb Society. I'm all about easy. So I will give you the directions as they are in the book and then I will supplement it with my version.
LEMON VERBENA ALMOND WAFERS
Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies (It made 65 cookies in my case.)
2 sticks butter, softened (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.)
1 cup sugar (I used my lemon verbena and vanilla sugar.)
1 t. vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 T. lemon zest
2 T. chopped dried lemon verbena or
3 T. fresh (I used 3 T. fresh.)
Sliced almonds for garnish
1. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Best in egg. Beat in vanilla.
2. Gradually mix in flour until blended. Stir in lemon zest and lemon verbena.
3. Drop by heaping half teaspoons, 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet. Gently press a few almond slices into center of each cookie.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Let cool on sheet on a rack for 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully remove from sheet and place directly on rack to cool completely.
These cookies are very tender. If cooled too long on baking sheet, they will break when trying to remove them. If this happens, return cookies to oven for about 1 minute before trying again.
OK, that is the recipe as written, but with my notes in parentheses. This is what I did. I took out my food processor and creamed together the lemon verbena leaves (I think if you are using dried, a food processor is the way to go to pulverize the lemon verbena. That midrib can be an issue in dried lemon verbena.) and the two sticks of butter. Then I added the sugar and continued to cream. Then I added the lemon zest, egg and vanilla and the cake flour at the end. I have a very old original (refurbished) Cuisinart food processor that still works very well. So it's not a big bowl and the recipe fit very well and I could spoon it out easily. It worked great. The only thing I would say about the almonds at the end is to really get them into the batter before baking. A lot of mine just were laying on the top of the cookie and got knocked off when I went to move them into a box. Oh, The Herbal Husband said they were sweet. (Huh, they are a cookie and then proceeded to have several. I lost count.) So I would say they are a hit in this household! Hope you enjoy them.
LEMON VERBENA DIP
Marilyn Rhinehalt, Western Reserve Unit
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used the tub of Philadelphia low fat cream cheese.)
8 oz. lemon yogurt (I used low fat and just used the 8 oz. tub as my measurement.)
1/4 cup lemon verbena leaves, very finely minced (use tender leaves)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
I used my food processor to mix the cream cheese and lemon verbena leaves and then added everything else. You could use a blender or mixer. Just so the cream cheese is incorporated with the yogurt well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Serve with fresh fruit or plain cookies. (It was very delicious especially with Nilla wafers!)
Thanks Marilyn. It is a very delicious recipe and thanks to the Herb Society for letting me share it with you. Great for those hot summertime get togethers. If you go on to share it, please give the Herb Society and Marilyn Rhinehalt from the Western Reserve Unit credit!
This recipe is from Marge Clark's cookbook, The Best of Thymes.
LEMON VERBENA BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Makes 12 muffins
8 fresh lemon verbena leaves
1 cup of super-fine sugar
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon verbena leaves, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups of fresh blueberries
1 cup of walnuts or black walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/3 cup of safflower oil
One day before making muffins, bury the 8 lemon verbena leaves in the 1 cup sugar. Place in a closed container. ( I didn't do this step.)
Grease a 12-cup muffin pan, with cups about 2-1/2 inches across. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped lemon verbena leaves, blueberries and nuts. (I put the lemon verbena leaves and nuts in the food processor and pulsed them to the consistency I wanted.) In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar. In another bowl, beat together the milk, safflower oil and egg. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir just until blended. Add the blueberry mixture and fold in gently. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with 1 teaspoon of the lemon verbena sugar. (I didn't do this step.) Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes (I baked a second batch for 20 minutes and they came out better not as over baked.), or until a tester comes out clean. Cool a few minutes, then remove muffins.
Use remaining lemon verbena sugar to flavor other desserts or to sweeten your tea.
Shared by my dear herbal friend, Kathleen Gips from The Village Herb Shop, Chagrin Falls, OH.
LEMON VERBENA GLASS & SURFACE CLEANER
1 T. castile soap
3-3-3/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. unscented alcohol or cheap vodka
Sprigs of lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemongrass, mint and thyme
Pour liquid over herb sprigs and allow to age for 2 weeks. Strain into a spray bottle. Use it to clean all glass and surfaces that are sealed. Do not use on wood!
Lemon Verbena Drop Recipe
In the past I've had (a few) friends who tended to treat cocktails more like fashion accessories than beverages. They always opted for the drink that best matched their handbag or shade of lipstick. Bless them though, because they always looked cute. Or cute for a while. There is a place up the street that serves saketinis in a pretty range of sunset colors - reds, pinks, oranges. They serve them in ultra-wide, shallow martini glasses. Turn one way, and the drink in your glass slides right out the other side. It's a given, anytime we go there someone will end up either wearing their own drink, or wearing someone else's.
I got out of the habit of ordering fancy drinks at bars - but making fancy drinks at home is still fun. And today's recipe certainly qualifies as a fancy drink.
I was at the Eatwell Farm stand on Saturday chatting with Lisa and Kyle when the breeze shifted direction, the whole stand filled up with the smell of lemon verbena. Have you smelled it? It is wonderful. There was a huge pile stacked in the corner begging for someone to put it to good use. Lisa started telling me about an amazing lemon verbena drop cocktail that was included in the Eatwell newsletter the previous week. I was sold, couldn't wait to try it, and asked her to send the recipe to me. I jumped on the subway with a big bunch of the verbena. It was hard to resist squeezing my bag every couple of minutes, sending puffs of strong citrus-scented air into the subway car all along the N-Judah line.
Lisa sent the recipe to me, and I got to work. As the jar of vodka was infusing it reminded me of a miniature kelp forest with the long, green strands of verbena suspended throughout. Very beautiful.
When it is finished infusing, use it to make the delicious lemon verbena cocktails. But first, pour it through a strainer to remove all the leaves (save a few for garnish). Keep the vodka in a dark place or in your freezer.
A few other ways to use lemon verbena:
- Use it to infuse or finish soups.
- Use it to infuse homemade sorbets.
- Chop up some leaves and toss them into salads.
- Finely chop the leaves and add them to baked goods like scones or drop a handful of leaves into a sack of sugar for an infused base ingredient.
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Homemade Soap Recipe Ingredients
Lemongrass E/O - ਁ/2 tsp. (2.5 ml)
Litsea Cubeba E/O - ਁ/2 tsp. (2.5 ml)
Sweet Orange E/O - ਂ tsp. (10 ml)
Lemon Eucalyptus E/O - ਁ/2 tsp. (2.5 ml)
Citronella E/O - ਁ/4 tsp. (1.25 ml)
Cinnamon E/O - ਁ/4 tsp. (1.25 ml)
Calendula Flower Petals(finely ground) - ਁ Tbsp. (15 ml)
Plain white soap cut into strips - grams (give or take)
**If you cannot find ethically sourced palm oil or would prefer to not use palm oil at all, it can be substituted with lard, tallow, shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, etc. Re-run the recipe through the lye calculator before making.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease the tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.
Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat for 2 minutes, or until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
Bake for 35–40 minutes, until the cake has shrunk a little from the sides of the tin and springs back when lightly touched with a fingertip in the centre of the cake.
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Mix the sugar with the lemon juice and stir to a runny consistency.
Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then lift out, with the lining paper still attached, and place on wire rack set over a tray.
Brush the glaze all over the surface of the warm cake and leave to set. Remove the lining paper and cut into slices to serve.
Tip 1: It is important to spoon the lemon drizzle on to the cake while it’s still warm so the lemon juice soaks in properly.
Tip 2: Lemon balm works well as an alternative for lemon verbena if you can’t get hold of any, or you could use finely chopped lemon thyme leaves.
Tip 3: This traybake can be stored in an airtight container for 3–4 days and frozen for up to a month.
Copycat Chick-fil-A lemonade
When the temperatures rise, there's nothing that hits the spot quite like an ice-cold glass of homemade lemonade. This copycat Chick-fil-A lemonade recipe is the only lemonade recipe you'll need. Great-tasting lemonade is all about getting the ratio of lemon, water, and sugar right, and as far as we're concerned, this recipe is the holy grail. Say hello to amazing lemonade all summer long. Save the leftover lemon peels to use in other recipes.
Lemon Verbena Soap Recipe
Coconut Oil – 10 oz. (31.25%)
Shea Butter – 4 oz. (12.5%)
Olive Oil – 12 oz. (37.5%)
Rice Bran Oil – 4 oz. (12.5%)
Avocado Oil – 2 oz. (6.25%)
Sodium Hydroxide – 4.5 oz.
Water – 9 oz.
Measure each colorant into a container for mixing. Fizzy Lemonade will need to be pre-blended with some glycerin (1 teaspoon) to help it mix into your soap. I leave the mica and oxide dry and use a mini-mixer to help mix them with the soap.
Step 1 – Create your lye solution. Weigh out the water and sodium hydroxide into separate containers.
Step 2 – In a well-ventilated area, sprinkle the sodium hydroxide into your water while stirring slowly. Stir until dissolved and set aside to cool.
Step 3 – Weigh out the coconut oil and Shea butter and melt, just until melted.
Step 4 – Weigh the liquid oils and add to the melted oils. Weigh the fragrance oil and add to the oil mixture.
Step 5 – Once the temperatures of your lye solution and oils are about 90 degrees F, pour the lye solution into oils and bring to light trace. Gear up in your goggles and gloves if you took them off to prepare your oils.
Step 6 – Pour a bit of soap into three containers.
Step 7 – Use a mini mixer (coffee frother) to mix them up well.
Step 8 – Rotating colors, plop each color into the mold. There really is no right or wrong way to do this. Alternate colors as you move up the mold.
Step 9 – You can texture the top or make it smooth. I decided to smooth it out.
Let the soap saponify for 24 hours. Remove the next day, cut and cure your soap for 4 weeks.
I really love the different shades of yellow in this soap!
p.s. For more info on coloring your cold process soap, check out:
How to Make Herbal Smoothies (Plus a Lemon Verbena Recipe)
Lemon Verbena Nectar Smoothie is on the menu today! This is a recipe from my book, The Herbal Kitchen. It is a super simple tasty and refreshing treat.
But first, there is something about lemon verbena. Have you noticed it?
What happens when you smell it?
Having introduced this plant to well over a thousand people, here is what I know about lemon verbena.
It makes people smile and say, “Ahhhhhhhhh!” Yep, that’s it. Hands down, lemon verbena has the biggest “wow” factor of any plant I know of when people ingest its wonderful aroma.
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citriodora)
I have seen people coo, croon, squeal and sigh on their first date with lemon verbena. When I hear people smell lemon verbena, the word that comes to mind is…delight. (Yes, I listen to people when they smell plants.)
The lemon verbena delight response transfers into the kitchen and all the wonderful drinks you can make using lemon verbena. Watch someone smell lemon verbena tea for the first time, you’ll see it. Their eyes light up and you’ll hear that little squeal of delight under their breath.
Over the years I just kept noticing how happy people become when they smell lemon verbena in the garden or in their tea. What is that fleeting moment of stress reduction worth? You won’t find this as a listed benefit in the herbal materia medica, but it feels vitally important to have an herbal ally that just helps you to take a deep breath, relax and feel good if even for a moment.
I have lemon verbena growing by my front door. When I come home I squeeze a bit of the leaf, take a whiff and instantly feel calmer and settle into being home.
Its delicious aroma, flavor and calming effect put lemon verbena into the category of “superb beverage herb.” It supports digestion and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, but I don’t use lemon verbena to “treat” anything. I use it to make my teas taste better and to give people that little hit of happiness. We use lemon verbena all spring and summer long in drinks and smoothies. It’s cooling, calming with a splash of delight!
Before we get into the recipe, let’s talk a little about making herbal smoothies. As you’ll see, there are lots of possible variations and add-ons for you to experiment with.
Ingredients for Herbal Smoothies
- Herbal teas: Burdock, chamomile, elder flower, ginger, hawthorn berry, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, oatstraw, orange peel, rose hips, rose petals and tulsi are good teas for making smoothies with
- Fresh herbs: Basil, cilantro, Calendula petals, dandelion greens, lemon balm, parsley, mint, rose petals
- Fruit: Fresh or frozen
- Creamy ingredients: Dairy, nut or coconut milk or yogurt (optional)
- Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, dates or sweetener of choice
- Add-on possibilities: Dash of herbal vinegar, powdered herbs or spice blends, powdered seaweed
How to Make Herbal Smoothies
- Make a tea with fresh or dried herbs use a single herb tea or your favorite tea blend.
- Strain the herbs from the tea.
- Put the tea in a blender.
- Add fresh or frozen fruit.
- If using fresh fruit, add small handful of ice.
- Add fresh herbs.
- Add yogurt or milk of choice (optional).
- Blend everything well in the blender.
- Taste and decide whether you need sweetener.
- Herbal smoothies are a great place to sneak more greens into your diet. Even if you are making a sweet smoothie treat with bananas and strawberries, you can add a handful of fresh parsley or peppermint.
- Fruits like banana and apple don’t usually need a sweetener, whereas the astringent berries like blueberry and raspberry do well with a little honey or maple syrup.
- If you use frozen fruit, there is no need for ice. I put much less ice in our herbal smoothies than a smoothie you would buy at the juice bar. Too much ice is hard on the stomach, so only use just enough ice or frozen fruit to give your smoothie the thick, crunchy texture you are looking for.
- Enjoy your smoothie chilled but not too cold. Frozen drinks hinder digestion and cause congestion. Drink your cool smoothies in the heat of the day, not at night when your digestive capacity is waning. If you deal with congestion or allergies, refrain from cold smoothies altogether.
- One more tip: Avoid the mistake of carrying on with your spring and summer smoothie habit into the winter. Once the weather starts cooling down, transition into drinking beverages that are room temperature or warm.
Lemon Verbena Nectar Smoothie
Recipe from The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride (Conari Press, 2019). This is a simple and delicious treat that can be adapted to whatever fruit is in season.
What you’ll need…
- 1 cup lemon verbena tea
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup yogurt
- Handful of fresh mint
- Dash of cardamom
This post is sponsored by our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Begin by making lemon verbena tea. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried lemon verbena to 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil with a lid on the pot, let it steep for 1/2 hour and then strain out the herbs.
- Tip! If you are adding honey, it blends much easier if you add it before the other ingredients.
- Blend everything together in a blender.
- Smoothies are best made to order they can store in the fridge for a day, but they taste best freshly made.
Now we’d love to hear from you!
Lemon Verbena French Macaron Recipe
It’s no secret that I love macarons – in fact I dedicated an entire week to the art and craft of French macaron recipes earlier this year – so it would be an understatement to say that I was excited to team up with my friend Anita Chu from the gorgeous baking blog Dessert First to photograph the preparation of a recipe she developed, lemon verbena macarons. Yum! Anita and I are synchronizing our posts today, so please click over to her post on making macarons to see her story behind this fabulous macaron recipe.
To give you a better idea on how to prepare macarons with the Italian meringue method, Anita and I photographed almost every step in the recipe. We hope that these pictures will guide you through making your own macarons, and if you have any questions, please leave either of us a comment!