You don’t have to just think of drinks to use it, though. The leaves are nice in salads, in sandwiches, sprinkled over cooked veg, and with any dish involving cream or cottage cheese. They are still used to flavour many fancy vinegars and dressings.
The plant looks a bit like a Maidenhair Fern. Many people grow it for its decorative qualities, as edging or in pots. In areas where the winters are mild, it will certainly grow year round. It is so hardy that it may even be an ideal container herb that will survive harder winters on balconies and back decks and bounce back in the spring.
To use, strip the leaves off the stems and discard the stems. Chop or crush the leaves to release the scent, and use as needed. The younger leaves are better; are the older, larger ones can become tough and somewhat bitter.
Freezes well in ice cube trays covered with a bit of water, then turned out into freezer bags. Does not dry well.
Native to Europe, brought to America with the first settlers.
In Elizabethan times, you would often be served your glass of wine with some Salad Burnet leaves floating on top.
There was also an herb called burnet, which was used for its medicinal properties (it was believed to stop bleeding, but this has no scientific basis). Because of this herb, its cousin was called “Salad” Burnet, to differentiate it.