Lemon balm is a delightful mint herb that has a lemony fragrance and taste. In fact, it is often used in recipes in place of citrus zest.
I started growing lemon balm when it was listed in an AARP magazine article on how certain herbs can help you stay sharp as you get older. It seems that some herbs such as lemon balm have been proven to help improve mood and mental performance in older persons.
According to Wikipedia, it also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. I think I am going to add this to my citrus sage tea for yet another tasty boost of flu prevention!
BTW- if you don’t have lemon balm handy, use basil- it will still be great!
If you love pesto, you will love Lemon Balm Pesto Pasta for 2:
- 1/3 cup Napa olive oil
- 1 cup freshly picked lemon balm leaves (discard the stems)
- 2 cloves garlic, halved
- 2 T fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 t lemon zest
- 4 T Walnuts (about 2 whole walnuts will do)
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the olive oil in the bottom of your food processor.
Add all ingredients except salt and pepper.
Add the salt and pepper a little at a time until it tastes right to you!
If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the above ingredients and blend well.
Toss with your favorite pasta.
More Great Uses:
Poach some tilapia fillets and serve them over a bed of sauted spinach.
Top the fish with the pesto and serve.
Make Pesto BLTs using: crispy bacon, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, whole barley bread.
Butter the bread well with the pesto and layer on the goodies- guaranteed to be a favorite!
Wine Suggestion: Try a Sauvignon Blanc with this one.
- Taking Basil Beyond Pesto (well.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Make it Yourself Monday: Pesto (momblognetwork.com)
- Recipes for Health: Beyond Pesto: New Ideas for Basil (nytimes.com)