Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb in the same family as mint. It is considered to be a calming herb and is used in many herbal tea blends as a harmonizing ingredient to bring together the flavors of other herbs. Use lemon balm to make a tea by putting a handful of fresh leaves in a mug or tea pot and pouring boiling water over the leaves. Steep for 5–10 minutes. Delicious both hot or iced.

 

Whole fresh lemon balm leaves make a nice addition to salads, or add finely minced lemon balm leaves to vinaigrettes for salad or steamed vegetables.

 

Many herbs, including lemon balm, can be made into a simple syrup used to flavor drinks. Stir together in a sauce pan one cup sugar, one cup water, and one cup loosely packed lemon balm leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves, and store the simple syrup in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one month.

 

Try lemon balm in both sweet and savory recipes.

 

Baked Salmon with Leeks and Lemon Balm

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/323/Baked_Salmon_With_Leeks_and_Lemon_Balm13311.shtml

 

Lemon Balm Pesto

http://www.goodearthfoodalliance.com/recipe/lemon-balm-pesto-and-lemon-pesto-shells

 

Lemon Balm Bread

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Lemon-Balm-Bread

 

Strawberry and Lemon Balm-Infused Wine

http://www.chow.com/recipes/10426-strawberry-and-lemon-balminfused-rose-wine