Lemons have to be one of my favourite ingredients to have in the kitchen.
If someone was to say to me: ‘Michael, you are allowed 10 ingredients to make a wonderful dinner’, lemons would be on that list!
They are great tenderisers, flavour enhancers, go with both savoury and sweet, can be sweet or tart and make a great cocktail.
We are so addicted to lemons we have almost 60 lemon trees out the back waiting to be planted. So when I want to make my Good From Scratch soda syrups I have plenty in supply.
‘Eureka’ lemons can often be picked year round, but the primary season of harvest is from late winter to early summer. The ‘Lisbon’ variety also produces fruit sporadically throughout the year, though the main season is in winter and early spring. The harvest of ‘Bearrs’ lemons is heaviest in the months of July through December. ‘Meyer’ lemons are a hybrid variety with sweeter juice, picked mainly from November to March, but is likely to have some ripe fruit at almost any time of year.
So here’s a couple of really handy things to do with lemons,
I love to marinate lamb leg with squeezed lemons, smashed garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil overnight. Pull it out of the marinade and straight onto the BBQ.
Simply zest a lemon into a bowl with the juice, a tsp of mustard, 1 tsp of apple syrup and whisk in olive oil.
Finish your Hollandaise, mayonnaise or salsa with a splash of lemon to lift and elevate the flavours whilst removing any oily aftertastes.
Slice your fish fish nice and thin and squeeze lemon juice over the top allow to sit for 5 minutes before finishing with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cut fish into cubes and squeeze lemon juice over the top and allow to sit for 10 minutes before lightly pressing out and tipping in a can of coconut cream chopped coriander, red onion and cherry tomatoes.
Stuffing, Just cut lemons in half and place in to the cavity of your chicken or duck before cooking. Once cooked, pull out and squeeze into the gravy for a wonderful flavour.
Then you have desserts…
Lemon souffle, lemon curd, lemon cheesecake, lemon sponge cake, lemon ice-cream, lemon mousse – there’s endless options.
Just cut it in half and run the cut side up and down your grill to clean and flavour your BBQ rack!