Sunday, June 20, 2010
Soooooooooo the lemon balm is going insane, yeah? It's that time of year. If you have lemon balm in your garden, you know what I mean. So, what to do with it? Drink it as tea, hot or cold - delicious! You can use it fresh, or dry it for later. Add a few springs to your jar of sun tea, yum!
Or how about making a delicious lemon balm pesto? This freezes beautifully; you will welcome having a few jars of this in your freezer over the winter. (A wintertime staple "fast food" at my house is pasta tossed with pesto from the freezer, then you can add any other ingredients you like - leftover veggies or meats, some cream or cheese, sundried tomatoes or a jar of home-canned tomatoes...you get the idea, right? A glass of wine and dinner is served. Add some bread and salad if you want to be fancy, but.... really, the pasta usually plenty for me).
I have a recipe that I found online years ago, for a lemon balm liqueur - I don't even know where, but I copied it to my files. Why haven't i made it yet? I don't know, but I'm going to remedy that RIGHT. NOW.
Liquore Di Erba Cedrina (melissa liqueur)
1 kg. grain alcohol
140 g Lemon balm leaves (fresh)
1 kg. white sugar
1 kg water
Cut fresh lemon balm leaves and put in a glass jar. Cover with alcohol and leave 20 days in a cool dark place; shake every other day. Strain out herbs and place infused alcohol in a big bowl. Meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup by mixing the sugar and water and boiling for 10 minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved into the water. Let cool to room temperature, then mix sugar syrup and alcohol. Bottle, and store in a cool dark place for 2 months. This allows all the ingredients to combine together, at perfection.