The humble lemon (part of the citrus fruit family) is a classy, essential (and compact) natural cook’s choice in the kitchen.
Lemons have a high concentration of vitamin C conferring a wide variety of health benefits. With potassium to prevent heart problems, natural citric acid to improve digestion and antioxidants to boost the immune system (helping to ward off coughs and colds) it’s the perfect natural additive to your diet.
Spring is the perfect season for this shiny yellow fruit. Incorporating lemon into your recipes adds flavour, texture, scent and colour. The abundance of recipes where lemon can be included is amazing. Otherwise bland food (such as chicken, fish, salads and vegetables) are given a rich and tasty flavour by the tangy lemon juices – and zest. Enhance your guilty pleasure of fish and chips by adding a delicious wedge of lemon!
Cakes, biscuits and desserts benefit from the lemon touch as the tartness blends very well with the sugar.
The citric acid in the lemon can even prevent discolouration of foods, such as avocado.
Five ways with Lemons
- Lemon slices – added to teas, lemonade, cocktails, summer punch
- Lemon Wedges – served with fish dishes
- Lemon Zest – added to marinades, sauces, baking and desserts.
- Lemon juice – added to salads, dressings
- Lemon – preserved – added to salads, tagines, cakes and biscuits
A few recipes to entice you!
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 2 tsps fresh grated ginger root
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ⅔ slices of lemon
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- Add ginger root to the water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 10 minutes until aromatic.
- Strain. Stir in lemon juice and honey.
- Serve warm with lemon slices.
- 1 lemon
- 100 g hot smoked salmon
- 2 tbps crème fraiche
- ½ sweet red pepper, chopped finely
- Handfull of fresh chives, snipped
- Rock salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and cut lemon in half. Remove pips and membrane while keeping the shell intact. Set aside.
- Flake the hot smoked salmon, then add the salmon, sweet red pepper, crème fraiche and seasoning to a medium bowl and gently combine ingredients.
- Place equal spoonfuls of hot smoked salmon mixture into lemon shells.
- Season to taste and serve, topped with snipped chives.
- 1 lemon (pared)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon red peppercorns
- Rock salt
- 150 ml olive oil
- Using a vegetable peeler gently pare the skin of the lemon. Cut in half and juice.
- Wash and strip both the rosemary stalks and thyme sprigs.
- Finely chop bay leaves into strips, finely slice garlic.
- Place all above ingredients in a pestle and mortar. Gently pound the mixture until releasing all the essential oils.
- Place the ingredients in a bowl, add red crushed peppercorns, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
- Set aside to infuse.
As you can see lemons are incredibly versatile. Not just a juice, but an amazing adjunct to zest up otherwise bland recipes in seconds.