Original post, Eating Local in the Lou, MARCH 29, 2013
Lemongrass is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with. Not only does it add an interesting flavor to recipes, it is also awesomely healthy. Lemongrass has been used for centuries to help alleviate many ailments including stomach upset, and tension. Lemongrass is a germ fighter: a mild antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial, it helps lessen symptoms of the common cold and coughs. Some studies suggest that lemongrass may help lower high blood pressure and could play a role in cancer prevention. Nutritionally, it is high in folate, iron, potassium and magnesium.
Adding lemongrass to dishes adds a light, refreshing, citrus accent without the sourness of lemon. Not all grocery markets carry lemongrass but it is worth seeking out. I happened to find grated lemongrass in the frozen section at a localglobal supermarket in the Lou. Anytime a recipe calls for lemongrass, I can break off a hunk, thaw out, and rock-and-roll.
If you are not able to find lemongrass, Cooking Light offers a good substitution: try using 1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon rind plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice to equal 4 teaspoons lemongrass. Not exactly the same flavor, but a pretty good option in a pinch.
This Warmed Lemongrass and Ginger Potato Salad combines lemongrass with fresh ginger, an award-winning combo with an Asian flair. You may recall this dynamic duo in another recipe, Succulent Blueberry Turkey Burgers, a literal award winner- a $1000 grand prize recipe contest winner! I bet it was the lemongrass that swayed the judges.