Tangy and fresh, the unmistakable flavor of lemon--you taste it and smell it, but the source may be tough to define. Fresh herbs perk up everything from pasta to tea, and selections with a lemon twist deliver an unexpected flavor boost.
All lemon herb types are easy to grow, so devote a few pots or space in your garden to these culinary treats. They have similar growth requirements, allowing you to pair them up as you like or give each one its own container. Here's what you need to know.
Test Kitchens Tips
Associate Foods Editor Mary Allen Perry loves fresh herbs and offers an abundance of suggestions for using them. "If you don't have time to cook, add these herbs to a convenience product such as oil-and-vinegar salad dressing for a flavor boost," she says.
Lemon balm--It's nice in tea and makes an awesome Mojito.
Lemon basil--Jazz up a jar of Alfredo sauce, or use it to top a tomato sandwich.
Lemon grass--Paired with lots of garlic, it makes incredible chicken stock. Or slice leaves thin, and add to pan when poaching salmon.
Lemon thyme--Add to marinade for grilled chicken or pork. It also gives packaged breadcrumbs a lift.
Lemon verbena--Add to a butter cookie recipe or to simple syrup to flavor hot or iced tea.
"Herbs With Zest" is from the June 2007 issue of Southern Living.