Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm is a lemon scented herb of the mint family. For a tasty general seasoning, use it in tandem with tarragon. Try adding some freshly minced leaves to lamb or fish marinades for the grill.

The taste of the leaves adds the perfect tangy note to fruit salads. Freshly steamed vegetables come alive when tossed with a chiffonade of Lemon Balm and a touch of cracked pepper.
Although lemon balm dries quickly and easily, it will not be as fragrant dried as fresh. It can be dried outside in partial shade but will brown quickly if there is any night moisture. When dry, store in tightly closed containers.
When using whole leaves be sure to handle with care, as they tend to bruise and turn black. Mix lemon balm with other fresh herbs for homemade herb vinegar. Freeze some leaves in ice cubes to serve in lemonade.

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