The queen of lemon herbs

Lemon myrtle: add zing to your summer selections

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ADD SOME ZING: Lemon myrtle flowers.

ADD SOME ZING: Lemon myrtle flowers.

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Add an Aussie flavour to your summer meals with the secret ingredient of lemon myrtle.

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If you're wondering what the must-have ingredient is going to be this summer, then look no further.

Lemon myrtle, a native bush botanical, is rapidly becoming an essential ingredient for chefs and home cooks alike.

Distinctively Australian, lemon myrtle swings both ways, as its vibrant, unique flavour makes it perfect for elevating both sweet and savoury dishes, adding a refreshing, zesty fragrance.

To celebrate the start of summer, Bondi chef Tom Walton offers three recipes that are sure to add some colour and excitement to the festive season:

Chicken and lemon myrtle mayo sandwiches with fresh prawns - fresh, bright and summery, this classic combination is elevated with the sweet citrus notes of lemon myrtle. Delicious with everything from sandwiches to seafood, the lemon myrtle mayo will be a fan-favourite with the family.

BREADY, SET, GO: Chicken and lemon myrtle mayo sandwiches.

BREADY, SET, GO: Chicken and lemon myrtle mayo sandwiches.

Grilled lemon myrtle chicken skewers with fennel, zucchini and herb slaw - whether served on the skewer or wrapped in flatbreads, this zesty dish will add a little zing to your backyard barbecues this summer.

Lemon myrtle hummus with macadamia dukkah - perfect for entertaining, or taking along to summer picnics, this mouth-watering recipe will help take your grazing platters to the next level.

CLUCKY DAY: Grilled lemon myrtle chicken skewers.

CLUCKY DAY: Grilled lemon myrtle chicken skewers.

The aromatic leaves of lemon myrtle can be used fresh or dried, cut or ground into a fine powder, making it easy to use in a wide range of dishes.

Australian Native Products, the world's largest growers and suppliers of lemon myrtle, said it is distinctly Australian and fast becoming an essential ingredient in the spice racks of chefs and food producers country-wide.

More 'lemony' than lemon and more convenient, it's the perfect ingredient for elevating sweet and savoury cooking alike.

HUMM-DINGER: Lemon myrtle hummus with macadamia dukkah.

HUMM-DINGER: Lemon myrtle hummus with macadamia dukkah.

Here are some things you need to know about lemon myrtle:

More 'lemony' than lemon: Herbaceous and sweet, the intense yet refreshing citrus flavour of lemon myrtle comes from its high concentration of citral. In fact, lemon myrtle leaves are the highest-known source of citral in the world. Hailed as the 'queen of lemon herbs', lemon myrtle is more convenient and more versatile than lemons, without the acidity.

All shapes and sizes: Lemon myrtle is one of Australia's most versatile native botanicals. It's the bush botanical that swings both ways, as its vibrant, unique flavour makes it perfect for elevating both sweet and savoury dishes, adding a refreshing, zesty fragrance. The aromatic leaves can be used fresh or dried, cut or ground into a fine powder, making it easy to use in a wide range of dishes. From lemon myrtle chocolate to lemon myrtle olive oils, spice rubs and salt mixes, it can be the hero flavour of a dish or used in the same way that you would a bay leaf.

An antioxidant boost: Not only delicious, but nutritious too - lemon myrtle can add an antioxidant boost to your day. A cup of lemon myrtle tea is a refreshing caffeine-free drink that rivals black tea when it comes to antioxidants, which are important in fighting damage from free radicals. Lemon myrtle tea has more antioxidants than many herbal teas and will help maintain good health as part of a healthy diet.

Distinctively Australian: The Australian bush is full of hidden gems like lemon myrtle, which grows naturally along the beautiful north eastern coastline of Australia, stretching from Far North Queensland down to northern NSW.

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