I love the smell of lemon verbena. It's so light, so lemony, it's one of the herbs we've been growing for 2 years now. It won't survive frost outside, but will hunker down over the winter if you bring it inside, losing most of its leaves during the dark days, but growing back when spring is back in full force. Before the end of last fall, I collected the leaves to dry and make into a lovely, light tea, but already this Spring it has started growing back in leaps and bounds!
I wanted to do something different with the leaves, so I decided to look around for something different to make. And I came across an idea for Lemon Verbena syrup. It sounded delicious!
1. Blanch the lemon verbena leaves in boiling water briefly (no more than 5 seconds) then immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking. This will kill any spores growing on the leaves of the herb.
2. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and let cool.
3. Place the lemon verbena and cooled syrup in a food processor or blender and chop to "bruise" the leaves and allow the oil to flow.
4. Steep and chill overnight, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Keep the syrup refrigerated. It can be used on ice cream, cakes, or fruit salad. I'm planning to make a lemon verbena poundcake soon and use the syrup as the glaze. Yum! I'll definitely post the recipe for that as well.