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Try It | Lemon Verbena Oil

Try these simple recipes using our favorite seasonal herb.

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True green thumb or not, every girl can figure out how to get a little herb garden to grow. Whether it be basil, dill, rosemary, parsley, oregano, chives, or thyme, cooking with herbs will bring otherwise bland dishes to life.

Lemon Verbana is one of our favorites: it’s a little under the radar, but definitely not lacking in flavor or scent. It’s a flowering perennial that grows extremely well in the Los Angeles climate and is currently in season in SoCal. It punches full-bodied flavor but lacks the familiar acidity of lemons.

If you’re not going to grow it yourself, you can grab some from the farmer’s market—just look for slender green leaves with a lemony fragrance that’s to-die-for.

You’ll probably be tempted to create your own perfume, but we suggest mixing up this oil dressing and/or simple syrup and then drizzling that over…everything.

Lemon Verbena Oil

Ingredients:

1 cup lemon verbena leaves, crushed

½ cup grapeseed oil

Pinch of salt

Instructions:

In a blender, combine the lemon verbena + oil, blend for 2 minutes

Pour the oil into a jar and let stand for 1 hour

Strain and press the solids to extract as much oil as possible.

Season with salt to taste

Makes ½ cup and lasts up to a week when refrigerated.

Delicious over salad, steamed veggies or sautéed chicken or fish

If you want to turn this into an oil based perfume, just mix 10-12 drops of this with 2 TB extra grapeseed oil; let sit for 72 hours and enjoy.

Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves

1/2 cup water

Instructions:

Chop the lemon verbena leaves

Put sugar + water in sauce pan and stir to dissolve over low heat

Let simmer for a few minutes

Stir in lemon verbena and remove from heat

Steep for 15 minutes

Refrigerate to cool

Perfect sweetener to any summer cocktail or bowl of sliced fruit

Photo courtesy of lacuocaciccia.com