Lemon Verbena: Tart, Tangy, Tasty


Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) is a native of Argentina and Chile, introduced into Europe by Spanish explorers. This is a tender perennial shrub with a bright, brash lemony scent. Grow it in full sun, and cut back the side branches to produce more of those delectable lemony leaves. It will appreciate being potted up for a winter vacation indoors in all but the deep South. There, left to its own devices, it may grow to 15 feet. Add finely minced leaves to fruit salads, cheeses, or your favorite tea. And it makes a great butter for veggies, fish, broiled shrimp.

Lemon Butter
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Grated peel of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons very finely minced lemon verbena leaves

Combine all ingredients and purée until smooth. Cover, refrigerate.