Lemon Myrtle is a native bush food and has a strong lemon scent that will impart it's lemon flavour when added to foods. I like to add it to fish, chicken and lamb and it makes a great addition to sweet treats too. if you don not have a tree nearby you can buy it in the spice section from selected stores.
To prepare the leaves you first need to give them a good wash. I soak them all in the sink and then pick them out one at a time and use a soft scrubbing brush to give them a gentle scrub on both sides of the leaves. This removes all the dust and spiderwebs that are attached.
I then spread the ones I want to dry out on a towel on top of the chest freezer. Once they are dry I place them on a tray in the oven and set it to 50 degrees Celsius and dry them out for a few hours then leave in the oven to cool. This may need to be repeated to get the leaves fully dry. If you have a dehydrator then you can use that instead.
I do not normally only dry half of the leaves an the rest of them I add to a stock pot and cover with water and simmer covered for an hour. Once the leaves have flavoured the water I freeze it in takeaway containers. I use it to add to fruit juice and punch in the summer for a refreshing drink.
Once the leaves are dried I put them in my herb chopping attachment from my stick blender or my food processor, depending on the quantity, and chop the dried leaves until they are as fine as I can get them. I then use my mortar and pestle to get it really fine. I just pound it for a bit then sieve out the fine stuff and keep repeating until it is all as fine as you want.
There are a whole range of recipes online and you can check out some here for ideas. My favourite is Lemon Myrtle and Macadamia Nut Shortbread and I will post the recipe to that tomorrow.
Have you ever harvested your own lemon myrtle?
Do you ever use it in cooking?