When we first moved to the bay area, Chez Panisse was absolutely one of the restaurants on our bucket list. As the restaurant that started the ripple effects of how we are eating today – seasonal, high-quality and local ingredients I was excited to make my pilgrimage.
Booked months in advance we finally made it for our sixth wedding anniversary. Of course the entire meal was just amazing. I had the single best salad of my life there – and I really do believe it was because every salad leaf and each ingredient in that dressing was of upmost quality and the best it could be. I just can’t even put it into words. But this post isn’t really about the perfection of every course and how satisfying each portion of it was. It’s about a small little detail after all the plates had been served.
I pleasantly discovered the tisane, which was given to us after our meal. A tisane is an herbal infusion, an herbal tea if you will, and the one served at Chez Panisse was made with lemon verbena. And there are many beautiful variations of infusions you can make.
The lemon verbena tisane piqued my interest with its refreshing and clean flavor that seemed to be so simple to make. I decided to try making one at home and it was so easy and a wonderful way to recall our anniversary dinner.
A simple “recipe” from the Kitchn for lemon verbena tisane below.
- Pick 1-2 handfuls of lemon verbena or lemon balm leaves. You can include the stems, too.
- Place them in a teapot.
- Heat water to nearly boiling. Boiling water will oversteep and cook the delicate leaves and give a grassy taste. The water should be the same temperature as you would use for French press coffee, or for green tea.
- Let steep for several minutes before drinking, but leave the herbs in.
- Pour into tea cups and enjoy!
And here are some great ideas to add more complexity and play around with other flavors.