La Verveine at ‘le Calabash’
There exists two Verbenas, one called officinal, mainly used in herbal medicine, the other the odorant verbena is one that interests chefs and pastry chefs for its incomparable lemon scent that emerges when its leaves are crushed. Worked after infusion, it can also be made fresh to decorate or flavor desserts.
For a longtime Verbena was confined to religious ceremonies or used by healers, Verbena hadn’t experienced its heyday until the eighteenth century for its medicinal properties. It was then used for the treatment of rheumatism, whereas today it is more suitable for the relieving cramps and for its ability to regulate sleep or anxiety.
So fresh, it can simply be put in a fruit salad, it must be infused in milk for 30 minutes if you obtain it dried. Flavored milk can be used to make a custard, ice cream, muffins or clafoutis. Infused in water, it can be used to moisten the biscuits of a tiramisu or to make a jelly.
Verbena adds a touch of freshness, as well as the kind verbena lemongrass or mint verbena. It goes particularly well with red fruits, lemon, apricot, peach, pear, melon. They can also be used for scenting custards, Bavarian mousses, whipped cream, ice cream, tiramisu, etc. For ganache’s, just leave fresh or dry, infuse for ten minutes in the milk or cream recipe. Verbena alcohol, is perfect for sorbets or to soak original babas or donuts. Off season, consider using the handy crystals verbena oil to mount such a ganache and top with buttons, or to integrate them into a dessert.