We love being able to collaborate with herbalist, holistic chef and author, Sarah Kate Benjamin to bring you a seasonal, functional herbal recipe starring Lemon Balm. Not only will you come away with a delicious, multi-use dressing, you will also learn more about the properties and benefits of this medicinal plant.*
To get more herbal recipe inspiration head to Sarah Kate's website The Kosmic Kitchen for weekly herbal recipes newsletter and one-on-one cooking classes.
Herbal preps are essential to my cooking practice. Seemingly simple additions—dressings, pestos, dips, sauces, spice blends, and seed blends—infused with medicinal herbs allow me to save so much time cooking, while enjoying nourishing and delicious meals most days.
Switching up my herbal preps for the season keeps them interesting and encourages me to use whatever herbs are currently in abundance. For summertime herbal preps, fresh herbs are in high rotation. From holy basil and cilantro to calendula to tarragon, I can’t get enough aromatic herbs on everything.
I teamed up with one of my favorite herbal brands, Oregon’s Wild Harvest to bring you this blender friendly herbal prep you can use all season long. Their biodynamic and organically grown herbs are some of the best you can buy.
As far as summertime herbs go, lemon balm is a staple in my kitchen. Its lemony scent and flavor make it a favorite for adults and kids alike. You’ll find it to be a cooling and refreshing ally on hot days when you want to take the edge off.
This member of the mint family tends to grow in abundance which makes it ideal to harvest and dry to use later. I find that vigorous plants like this, can be a sweet reminder of the abundance that’s available to you inherently in nature.
Especially, when you’re overwhelmed, overworked, or just plain exhausted, lemon balm can bring in a feeling of lightness and calm, so you can have space to unwind. It doesn’t necessarily make you sleepy, it just gently reminds the nervous system that it doesn’t need to be on guard, which can be exhausting in and of itself.*
Most widely used for its ability to soothe and calm the digestive and nervous systems, lemon balm is a powerful yet gentle nervine you can add to teas, sauces, pesto, or this quick and easy dressing. On top of all of that, its immune system supporting properties help it to support the body’s natural defenses. Enjoy a cup of lemon balm tea to dispel gas or cramping after a heavy meal, or to simply enhance digestion.*
You can make a cold infusion with lemon balm by putting 3-4 tablespoons of the dried leaves in a quart jar, filling it with water, closing the lid, and popping in the fridge overnight. Strain in the morning and sip on your chilled lemon balm tea throughout the day.
This dressing is on the thicker side, so it's great to use as a dip for a snack board or as a spread for wraps or sandwiches.
Lemon Balm & Charred Scallion Goddess Dressing
1 small bunch mixed herbs (parsley, mint, tarragon, and cilantro would all be delicious), roughly chopped
1 cup lemon balm leaves, roughly chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried leaves)
3 scallions, cut in half
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
1 cup yogurt
2 cloves garlic, smashed
- In a grill pan or cast iron pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and coat the bottom. Add the scallions, to sear on one side, then flip to sear the other.
- Remove from the pan and sprinkle with salt to taste and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, add the mixed herbs, lemon balm, yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, charred scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and an extra sprinkle of herbs if using immediately.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.