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What is Lemon Verbena Herb?

Lemon Verbena Herb


An aromatic culinary herb that has slender citrus green leaves and is commonly described as ‘lemon perfume’. 

What does it taste like?

As the name suggests, lemon verbena herbs’ main profile is bright fresh lemon citrus which is prominent in the flavor and aroma of the herb.

Lemon Verbena Herb Uses

The cleanest and brightest of the lemon-scented herbs, the leaves are most vibrant when used fresh and raw but also widely used in marinades, syrups, and teas. 

Lemon verbena herb comes from leaves used to add fresh herbal lemon flavoring into dishes including fish, poultry, vinaigrettes, yogurt, jams, tea, desserts, and drinks.

Lemon Verbena Herb Substitutes 

  • Lemon balm: although less sweet with a menthol element, lemon balm can replicate verbenas prominent citrus flavoring.
  • Lemon thyme: a citrus variety of thyme which can provide lemon flavor to dishes in place of verbena.
  • Lemon zest: an intense hint of lemon and dissimilar in appearance, best suited to recipes which would chop and mix the leaves into a dish.
  • Lemongrass: infuse the stalk into recipes that require heating such as syrups and teas to replicate the citrus flavor and aroma.

Compliments and Pairings 

The lemon verbena herb is versatile pairing best with light and fresh ingredients to allow the herb to shine such as fish, shellfish, poultry, yogurt, mango, pineapple, peach, ginger, mint, white wine, lemon, pulses, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cream, chocolate, and honey. 

Expiration and Storage

  • Fresh: wrap fresh leaves in a kitchen cloth and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
  • Dried: dry fresh leaves and store in an airtight container for up to six months.
  • Frozen: store dried leaves in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for recipes such as teas and infusions, use within one year.

Fun Facts

  • Lemon verbena was first brought to Europe through the Spanish and Portuguese for its oil. 
  • In the language of flowers, lemon verbena symbolizes sensitivity.

Where does it come from?

The lemon verbena herb or aloysia citrodora originates in South America and is a member of the Verbenas family. Initially, the herb was cultivated for its oil but is now increasingly popular as an ingredient in cooking. More scientific details can be found on wikipedia.

Popular Recipes

  • Verbena cordial
  • Verbena Posset

Chef Max

Michelin trained professional chef with a passion for recipe writing and all things food. I have worked for over five years at top restaurants across the UK and have gained an ability to create any recipe you desire, from comfort food recipes to fine dining recipes. My experience in food writing includes a placement at Delicious Magazine which involved feature writing, recipe testing, article research, and content creation.

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