Garden to Kitchen: Liquid Lemon Gold

I love to use produce from my garden and Lemon Myrtle is one of my favourite trees. I don’t need any more reasons to justify its existence in a food forest but recently I read about a new use and I just have to try it!

Lemon Myrtle in flower is a lovely feature for your garden. The flowers smell like honey!

Here’s some of the ways that I already use Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citrodora):

  • To attract birds, bees and beneficial insects to my garden.
  • As a feature plant and in future years as a small shade tree. The roots are not invasive and it doesn’t drop leaves.
  • Substitute for bay leaves in cooking. (Lovely in a tuna bake!)
  • Stuff leaves into chicken before roasting and season the skin with dried powder, salt and pepper.
  • Bruise the leaves and add to drinks instead of lemon or lime wedges.
  • Dry and use the powder in shortbread, cupcakes or frosting.
  • Pour boiling water over the leaves to make a refreshing tea to drink hot or cold.
  • Leave some bruised leaves in vanilla or natural yoghurt overnight to impart a lovely lemon flavour.
  • Chew a leaf to help with cold or flu symptoms.
We regularly bruise the leaves and add to our beer in Summer.

So, what’s new?

The new idea is using Lemon Myrtle to create an infused olive oil for fish and chicken dishes! It’s quite simple.

  • Collect enough leaves to fill your bottle to about half its capacity. In my case I reused a 250ml Maple Syrup bottle and collected about half a cup (125ml) of Lemon Myrtle leaves.
  • Wash the leaves thoroughly.
  • Bruise the leaves to release the oil. I crushed mine in my hand and then finished the job with a mortar and pestle.
Crush the leaves using a mortar and pestle or just bruise them in your hands. The smell is wonderful!
  • Push the leaves into the bottle.
  • Top up the bottle with a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I buy an Australian brand in bulk.
You will need enough leaves to make up about half the capacity of your chosen bottle or jar. I reused a Maple Syrup bottle.
  • Leave it to infuse for 2 weeks or a month.
  • Strain the leaves and store in a cool, dry, dark place.
  • Substitute for oil in fish and chicken recipes.
My bottle beginning to infuse next to the first Lemon Myrtle I purchased. I love the flower shaped sepals that are revealed after the flowers bloom and slowly go golden brown like flower shaped gumnuts.

Stay tuned for an update when I cook with this liquid gold for the first time!

I also plan to try infusing vinegar to make an easy lemon salad dressing!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or a botanist. ALWAYS conduct your own research before ingesting a new plant and start small in case of allergy or food intolerance.

After experimenting with the oil in my kitchen and LOVING it I made it again. This time I vlogged it! Click here to watch

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