10 Culinary Uses for Lemon Balm

Photo: Christian Jung/Shutterstock.

Several years ago, my neighbor from across the street had an excess of lemon balm in his garden and put some in the garden bed in the front of my house. It started to take over the garden bed this year so I moved a large portion of it to another bed. I now have a lot of lemon balm.

I’ve never done anything with the lemon balm except smell it, and I thought I’d see what I could do with this herb in my kitchen.

  1. Lemon Balm Sun Tea – Let lemon balm steep in water in the hot sun to create a lemony tea you can add simple syrup or honey to (or perhaps some honeysuckle syrup – I still have a little).
  2. Lemon Balm Simple Syrup – After my spring of syrups, I’ve cut back on making drinkable syrups, but I think I’ll be giving this a try. Think of the beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that can be created using a lemony-syrup. I sense a cocktail making evening coming on.
  3. Lemon Balm Butter – Cream butter with lemon balm and a few other ingredients to use on vegetables, fish and chicken.
  4. Lemon Balm Pesto – A lemony pasta topping that’s made with cashews instead of more expensive pine nuts.
  5. Lemon Balm Cookies – A simple, lemony, butter cookie.
  6. Lemon Balm Salad Dressing and Marinade – Pour it over a salad or marinade chicken or fish in it.
  7. Lemon Balm Popsicles – Very simple recipe for making slightly sweetened, lemony popsicles.
  8. Apricot Smoothie with Almond Milk and Lemon Balm – A refreshing and light summer smoothie.
  9. Raspberry Lemon Balm Jam – A small batch recipe that yields 4 pints of jam.
  10. Lemon Balm Jelly – No fruit in this jelly, just lemon balm with some honey to sweeten. This could be a good accompaniment on a cheese plate or drizzled over ice cream.

It’s a good think I have plenty of lemon balm. I want to give all of these ideas a try. Am I missing anything that you think I should be doing with my abundance of lemon balm?