The perfect combination: Summer and Iced Tea

 

I am always adding or substituting things to tweak my home recipes from standard to unique.  As many of my roommates, friends and family know, I let this get in the way of preparing food sometimes.  My brother, Kevin, used to ask “How did you screw up dinner this time?” when I would make something.  My roommate, Steve, rarely touched anything I made while away at school.

However, I learned from my trial and error. Now friends are routinely asking if they can try my newest creations. This spring, I decided I would do away with dried herbs and grow my own, fresh herbs in my backyard.  Farmers Markets are a great place to let your inner food network star run wild.

Soon enough I found myself going overboard; buying oregano for Italian dishes, rosemary for chicken, dill for marinating fish, and lemongrass for…???…well, I didn’t have a plan for all of the different things I bought. My neighbor came up to me after I had planted the herbs and began asking what my ”master plans” were for all of them. When I got to lemongrass, I was admittedly stumped. Lemongrass smells amazing, very citrusy and clean so I figured it would be great in seafood dishes. But I didn’t really have an answer for her.

With that question, my quest to determine its use began. After experimenting for only a short while, I found this classic summertime recipe a perfect place to sneak in this amazing herb. Iced tea is a staple of my home throughout the summer, so when I found a recipe that combined one of my summertime favorites with the goal of finding a healthy recipe, I was thrilled.  Read below for an awesome lemongrass iced tea recipe, adapted from foodandwine.com.

Double Lemongrass Tea

  • 10 stalks lemongrass
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 8 tea bags (I use black tea)
  • Ice cubes

For a lighter version, try using half of the honey or a low-calorie sweetener.

  1. In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup water with honey and 5 stalks of the lemongrass.  Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat once the honey has dissolved. Allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes.  Set aside for later.  This is lemongrass “syrup.”
  2. In a second large saucepan, combined 5 stalks of lemongrass with 8 cups water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove from heat and add tea bags.  Let stand for 5 minutes or until desired strength is achieved (I like my tea strong so I keep mine in for 10 minutes before removing).  This is lemongrass “tea.”
  3. Once cooled, combine lemongrass tea with half of the lemongrass syrup (or more if you prefer it sweeter).
  4. Serve over ice and enjoy.

How do you modify the traditional iced tea?

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Photo credit: shutterbean

 

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