From My Herb Garden: Lemon Balm
One of my preferred sections of my garden is my herb patch. I planted it fairly close to the house so I can dash out and clip herbs as I cook. Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis) grows there, but it also seeds itself all over the yard. I yank it out regularly. Still, it's a pretty plant, and its tendency to wander is likely because of its family connections - related to mint.
It's a useful plant as well. I dry leaves during the summer and in the winter, I throw a handful into a teapot, pour boiling water over, let steep and enjoy a lemony mint tea. The plant is said to have a calming effect.
It can also be used in many of the same recipes as mint. We're enjoying warm days here - unusual for so early in the summer. I'm not complaining in the least, in fact, I'm soaking up the heat. But that doesn't mean that I want to spend much time in the kitchen. This Avocado Soup is one I've made for several years. It's creamy, refreshing, and takes about 5 minutes to pull together. And it uses lemon balm - or mint, if you prefer.
A pitcher of cold water, with lemon slices and a few sprigs of lemon balm is a refreshing item to have in the refrigerator.
Does Lemon Balm grow in your garden? What do you use it for? I'd love to discover some new recipes.