Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lemon Balm

Our salad greens did not do well in the intense heat this week but take heart, I saw the beautiful start of another batch of greens sprouting in the field so we will have more in a week or two. Also get ready for some beautiful Asian greens. Tat soi was favorite new vegetable last year!

Next week Kelly will send out the email with the share information as I will be on vacation. This will be a chance to test your knowledge and try your hand at identifying your share without the photos as the blog will not be updated next week. But the first week of July, the blog will be back.

And please note that our pick up will be Tuesday, July 3 instead of Wednesday due to the July 4th holiday.

our share this week

the herbs

and a few photos from the farm today

Feature of the week - LEMON BALM
Lemon balm has never been an easy herb for me to use, although I do love the smell of it. It is similar to mint and will, like mint, spread across your garden if not contained in a pot.

It is often brewed along with mint or chamomile leaves in tea (hot or cold). But my favorite use is as a garnish to lemonade (which sounds heavenly in today's heat). Here is a recipe that I have yet to try, but it sounds quite appealing.

Lemon Balm Pesto
2 cups lemon balm leaves
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 half a cup of olive oil
the juice from 1 lemon
salt to taste

Process all ingredients in a food processor.

I have seen recommendations for mixing this with pasta as is or adding to your ricotta in lasagna or stuffed shells. But the preparation that looks best to me is to use it as a sauce for poached or baked fish (like tilapia).

And since we may not receive 2 cups of lemon balm this week as the recipe specifies, here is an easy fruit dip that only takes 3TBS.

Lemon Balm fruit dip
2 oz unsalted margarine or butter       
8 oz cream cheese, or low fat cream cheese
1 tsp orange zest       
1 tbsp orange juice or orange liqueur
3 tbsp fresh lemon balm, chopped       
Fresh fruit
Allow margarine and cream cheese to soften, then blend together in a medium bowl.  Mix in the other ingredients.  Let the dip chill overnight to allow the flavors to blend.  Serve at room temperature with fruit such as fresh strawberries, orange slices, mangoes, grapes and pineapple chunks.

Happy eating,
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1 comment:

  1. I made a batch of pesto last year with about 2/3 basil and 1/3 lemon balm - it was really good!