If you’re looking for lemon verbena recipes, you’re in the right place!

A simple yet stunning end to a summer meal: Roasted Nectarines and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream. Make the ice cream in advance and it’s one of the easiest yet elegant French desserts to produce at the last minute!

roasted nectarines in honey with verbena ice cream

Lemon verbena or French verveine

If you know me by now, you’ll have discovered that my favourite desserts are LIGHT and EASY to make – but they also must have a little of that WOW factor.

The ultimate challenge while testing out this ice cream dessert has been serving it to friends who are not even fans of sweets or puddings – yet each time it has received a surprised note of ecstatic groans around the table. Why?

It’s light simplicity, with a natural, yet subtle lemony surprise. Most of all, it’s not too sweet.

roasting nectarines in honey

sprinkle with honey and dot with butter

With French fruit in abundance, what’s not to love about a blistering simple roasted nectarine from Provence with a honey syrup?  The surprise comes from the hint of lemon, the pure creamy ice cream that uses mainly whole milk rather than heavy cream. Lemon verbena ice cream is not bright green but simply announces its natural subtle refreshing fragrance from the intriguing edible leaves.

Last year I planted verveine in the garden.  I made a mistake since I never even used it in cooking then suddenly the chill of winter turned its leaves dark brown. I thought I’d lost it and just cut it right back.  This summer – surprise! It grew. And grew. Now it’s a small bush!  Rather than just serve it as a typical herbal infusion before going to bed (Note: if you have the fresh stuff, it beats the sachets into a corner), I wanted to try it in desserts.
You’ll see: this is a winner!

Dried Lemon Verbena Works Well Too

epicerie LeGrand Paris

Fresh lemon verbena leaves are absolute best for this recipe but if you don’t have any, don’t despair. Dried lemon verbena leaves are the next best thing and can be found in most health food shops or groceries. In Paris, Legrand Epicerie stocks them all year round, for example. Just look out for Verveine.

dried lemon verbena leaves

Plus it’s the best way to preserve your lemon verbena if you have it.  Just dry the leaves overnight and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for lemon verbena infusions and making this ice cream at any time of year!

How to Make Lemon Verbena Ice Cream from Scratch

Weigh the verbena … It seems a lot but it needs a good amount. Use digital scales for 15g or 1/2oz.

infusing fresh lemon verbena

Infuse lemon verbena in hot milk, off heat and covered for 30 mins

verbena ice cream churning

churn the ice cream. It doesn’t look green but the flavour will be full of lemony verbena

verbena ice cream roasted nectarines

verbena ice cream roasted nectarines

Roasted Nectarines and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Infusing & Chilling Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : French
Keyword : lemon verbena recipes, roasted nectarines, roasted peaches
Servings : 6 people


A simple yet stunning end to a summer meal: Roasted Nectarines and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream. Make the ice cream in advance and it's one of the easiest French desserts to produce at the last minute!


Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

  • 500 ml (18fl oz) Whole milk
  • 15 g (0.5oz) Verbena leaves reserve 6 leaves for nectarines
  • 5 Organic egg yolks
  • 115 g (4oz) Sugar
  • 100 ml (3.5fl oz) Whipping cream 30% fat

Roasted Nectarines (or Peaches)

  • 6 Ripe Fresh Nectarines
  • 3 tbsp Honey (Accacia)
  • 30 g (1oz) Butter unsalted


Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

  • Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan with the verbena leaves (put 6 leaves aside for the nectarines) then turn off the heat and cover.  Leave to infuse for about 30 minutes then filter out the leaves.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and creamy. Mix in a little of the verbena milk, then add the whole lot to the bowl.  Transfer back to the saucepan and on a medium heat, whisk continuously until it mousses and forms a light custard. Be careful not to boil, as it could curdle slightly. As soon as the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, it's ready.
  • Transfer the lemon verbena mixture back to the bowl, add the cream then set aside to cool. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions and transfer to the freezer for a couple of hours until ready to serve.

Roasted Nectarines (or Peaches)

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F/Gas 4/160°fan.
    Cut the fruit in half, remove the stones and the pithy cavity.
  • In a roasting tin, place the nectarines skins down on half a verbena leaf, drizzle with the honey and dot with butter.
  • Roast for about 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.


Serve the roasted nectarines either chilled or at room temperature and top each with a finely chopped verbena leaf.
Delicious also served with raspberries.
The ice cream is best served within a month.

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Comments (12)

Somehow I missed this post coming through, but not too late as I’d love to make this before the summer peaches and nectarines are gone. The verbena ice cream sounds absolutely delightful, too. What a great combination, Jill and so glad to see a summer recipe instead of autumn, as many others are jumping at; we still have 3 more weeks for goodness’ sake! Brava!

Totally agree with you, Christina. Autumn is still far enough away and we still have the wonderful fruits of summer so let’s make the most of it! I hope you make this – it’s summer on a plate!

These roasted nectarines certainly have the WOW factor from me. Now, that dessert is so different from any recipe I have seen recently. The verbena ice cream is unusual too. Great combination. Wish I could be your taster.

Glad you like it and hope you do make it, Thomasina. I posted both of them together since they’re a match that’s divine!

Wow these are gorgeous and rather sexy! I think this is such an elegant dessert for summer. I hope you all had a wonderful vacation!

Isn’t that funny, Jamie? I threw a few raspberries on the plate and our guests this weekend thought it was rather suggestive! Thanks – we had a super time. Wish we could have come to Chinon but for another time soon, I hope!

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