Lemon Balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. It grows very quickly and is quite a beautiful plant. It has a refreshing light lemon aroma and flavour and many believe it aids digestion, and has a calming affect. It attracts bees, butterflies and birds and is a lovely addition to any garden.
It is probably most commonly used in tea or ice tea but it really can be used anywhere in cooking where you want a light lemon flavour. Mixed with butter it is wonderful to add to potatoes, asapargus, or any spring vegetable.
Lemon Balm can be used in many ways and here I have combined it with green garlic (the tender young shoots from planted garlic cloves), pine nuts, olive oil, and salt for a delicious light lemony pesto. (Please note that you can use garlic chives or garlic cloves to substitute for the green garlic. The green garlic or chives give a lighter garlic flavour whereas the cloves would be a stronger garlic flavour.) This pesto is incredible mixed with goat cheese or yogurt cheese, tossed with potatoes, pasta, rubbed onto salmon, chicken, or anywhere you would use pesto.
Lemon Balm Pesto