Lemon Verbena Gelato with Nectarine Essence

Lemon Verbena Nectarine GelatoIt’s absurd to believe men are the initiators in romantic pursuits. My encounters find them immobile with laziness, fear or indecision. A few hundred thousand years ago, man’s irrepressible instincts forced him, sweaty and grunting, to drag a reluctant mate back to his cave, but there’s been a reversal of roles.  A man’s Neanderthal nature has been somehow buried within his recessive genes. In the present dating world, women initiate, albeit often surreptitiously, and men are oblivious that they are being led. Women chase; women persuade. No longer vulnerable prey, they are adept predators. If not overt hunters, women render their capture child’s play – Here I am, a helpless little bunny caught in a snare, come get me. Perhaps it’s always been this way.

I’ve refused to act the aggressor. It’s not my forte, it never has been. Whether from ego or fear, I want to be pursued, not pursuer. I believe I’m worth chasing. A recent uncharacteristically bold move on my part prompted recollections of my prior unexploited opportunities and wasted chances; missed assignations that slipped past my grasp because I wasn’t assertive enough to act –arranging myself at his doorstep, naked except for a trench coat and heels.

I’m bolder when it comes to exploits of the culinary variety. Specifically, I’m reminded of my Italian gelato school adventures. Apologies for the measurements– I’ve been too lazy to convert to US since my return.

Lemon Verbena Gelato with Nectarine Essence


400 grams 2% milk
Small handful Fresh lemon verbena, roughly chopped
145 grams Sugar (sucrose)
16 grams Dextrose
50 grams Powdered milk
4 grams Equal parts carob and guar powders
2 grams Salt
250 grams Heavy cream
200 grams Nectarine puree


Over low heat, warm milk to 40 degrees Celsius. Remove from heat, add lemon verbena, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove lid and reheat to milk to 40 degrees C. Add sugar, dextrose and ¾ of powdered milk, stirring constantly. Mix carob and guar with remaining ¼ powdered milk. Continue heating milk mixture until temperature reaches 62 degrees C.   Add carob/guar mixture and salt to milk, continuing to stir. Heat milk until it reaches 90 degrees C. for pasteurization. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl or container placed over salted ice water for faster cooling. Cool to 62 degrees and add heavy cream. Add nectarine puree and blend with an immersion blender. Continue to cool mixture, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl or container from ice water, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 12-36 hours to allow flavors to meld. Follow ice cream manufacturer’s directions for chilling.


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