Lemon Balm, a member of the mint family, is similar to mint in many ways. Its leaves are tender, aromatic, and refreshing. Traditionally and most commonly used in tea and for its medicinal properties, lemon balm is increasingly appreciated as a trendy fresh culinary herb.
Tip: For a zesty twist on the mojito, use lemon balm in place of, or in addition to mint.
Lemon balm has a fondness for spreading around in the garden. Snip the flowering parts of this easy-to-grow perennial plant before they set seed, if concerned about weed issues.
Flavor – Lemon and mint.
Use – Savory dishes, soups, tabouli/tabbouleh salad, green salads, fruit salads, desserts, ices and ice cream, cookies and cakes, summer cocktails, tea (hot or cold), any recipe that calls for lemon zest and/or mint. Add moderate amounts of fresh chopped leaves to flavor dishes. Best if added after cooking or near the end of cooking time to preserve flavor.
Culinary pairings – Fish, seafood, chicken, noodles, rice, cream, fruit, aromatic herbs and vegetables, mint, ginger, garlic, honey.
About – Native to Europe and Mediterranean regions. Tolerates heat and drought.