Sunday, July 1, 2007

Lemon Verbena with Peaches

Recipe from Herb farmer Jill Yeck builds a rewarding life of fragrant leaves and gentle living
In Brava magazine, July 2007
Column: Around the Table
By Vesna Vuynovich Kovach

“Lemon verbena is amazing!” says Jill of this, her favorite herb of all. “It makes a great tea, and it can be minced into fruit salads or tossed into the bath for a relaxing soak. I just love smelling it while wandering the garden. In tropical climates it’s a bush. It’s a tender perennial, so it needs to go in the house in winter.”

Desserts featuring the crisp, refreshing quality of this intensely lemony herb were all the rage in Victorian times. This example is “also great with blueberries, strawberries or other fresh fruits,” Jill says. If you can’t find lemon verbena, try substituting another lemony herb – or, in a pinch, juice and zest from a fresh lemon.

2 tablespoons fresh lemon verbena, plus additional leaves for garnish
1/4 cup honey
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
Fresh peaches

Process honey and lemon verbena in a food processor for about one minute. Add cream cheese. Process until smooth. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Place a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the hollow of the peach. Garnish with lemon verbena leaves.

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