Recipe: Versatile Lemon Balm Marinade / Dressing

Lemon balm is adored by both humans and honeybees. And for good reason! This highly aromatic herb has a delightful lemon flavor and scent. There are so many ways you can use lemon balm in the kitchen (like our Lemon Balm-Garlic Scape Pesto), but one of our favorites is this simple sauce that can be used as both a marinade or a dressing.

Excellent on green salads, pasta salads and grilled or baked chicken, fish or shrimp.


  • 2 cups fresh lemon balm leaves, stems removed
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (I substituted one garlic scape, flower bud removed and chopped into 1″ pieces)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3-1/2 cup oil

In a food processor (or blender), add all the ingredients except the oil until well combined. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until it reaches a desired consistency. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

For dressings, prepare at least one hour ahead of time to allow flavors to meld. For marinades, reserve a tablespoon or two, coat your meat, fish or vegetables with the marinade and let rest for about 4 hours in the fridge, tossing occasionally to re-coat. Use the reserved marinade for basting on the grill or to drizzle over top when you’re finished cooking.

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply