Lemons add a little sunshine to most dishes, don’t they? The great thing about lemon is you can pretty much use the whole fruit, whether you’re grating a little zest onto a dish for intense flavour (a great replacement for salt) or using the juice, which has that wonderful sharp, sour taste.
While their flavour makes us pucker, they can add just the right amount of tartness to balance out a dish (this is often why it’s added to a dish just before it is served). Lemons can even bring to life a dull tasting dish or round out the flavours of a dish that has been cooked for a length of time and may need a little zip to cut through the richness.
How to Pick Lemons:
The great thing about lemon is you can pretty much use the whole fruit, the zest of a lemon will add that intense lemon flavour and the juice is wonderful for its sharp, sour taste.
Lemons with a smooth skin that are heavy for their size will yield the most juice. To tell if a lemon is heavy for its size, pick up two lemons at once and go with the heavier lemon.
Avoid lemons with mould, soft spots, or that are dried and shrivelled.
How to Store Lemons:
They can be stored at room temperature for up to one week, or in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
How To Prepare Lemons:
How To Zest Lemons:
The zest of a lemon is the yellow part of the skin, it has an intense lemon flavour. If you are using the zest (skin) of a lemon, first wash it under cold water and use a scrub brush to wash away any dirt or debris. Then dry before zesting. A fine grater, sometimes called a zester is the easiest way to remove the zest. But, you can also use a vegetable peeler to remove sections of the peel, then slice or mince it.
How To Juice Lemons:
Before juicing a lemon, roll the lemon on a flat surface to soften it. The easiest way to extract the juice of a lemon is to twist the lemon half on a reamer (juicer), but a fork works just as well.
If you’re serving a dish with lemon slices, try to remove most of the seeds. It will make it easier for your guests.
One lemon = 2 – 4 tablespoons of juice.
Kary’s Lemon Tips:
- Use a rasp to remove the zest to add the essence of lemon to a dish without the tartness.
- Storing lemons beside your fruits and vegetables will help to keep them from turning brown.
- Roll the lemon on the counter with a little pressure from your palm. This will make the lemon softer and easier to juice.
- To tell if a fruit is heavy for its size, pick up two and choose the heaviest one.
- Always zest your lemon before you cut it. If you do it the other way around, good luck!
- If you don’t have a reamer to juice a lemon, a fork will work just as well.
- If you don’t have a rasp to remove the zest from a lemon, use a peeler. Peel the skin, then finely cut in into strips, then into a mince.
Lemon Goes Well With?
Lemon goes well with: capers, fish, garlic, Mediterranean cuisine, basil, honey, coconut, chicken, ricotta and goat cheese, blueberries and blackberries.