Verbena is known for its floral-lemon scented leaves, which infuse sweet, fresh citric flavours into a dish. Verbena is native to South America, but arrived in Europe in the 17th century, and has been particularly popular in France ever since, where ‘verveine citronelle’ is often sipped as a digestive tea at the end of meals.
Moroccan Verbena is renowned for its calming and soothing effect. To enjoy in its purest form, steep a few of the delicate, feather-shaped verbena leaves in hot water and drink as a pure infusion. There’s a lot of scope for using verbena in more adventurous ways though – from jellies to sorbet, marmalade and homemade lemonade with a twist. Verbena can also be rehydrated and used to flavour a syrup to accompany a verrine of tropical fruit salad.
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