Year round, but at their best from March to October.
Choose lemons that feel heavy for their size and have firm, brightly coloured skin.
Store at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for two weeks.
Lemons yield more juice when they're slightly warm – try heating the fruit in a bowl of hot water before squeezing. When using the skin, scrub lightly in case the fruit has been waxed. To obtain the zest, grate on the smallest holes of a grater, avoiding the white pith. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin, then remove any pith with a small sharp knife. Cut into thin strips and use to flavour pasta dishes, risotto, sauces and desserts.
5 quick ways with lemons
Marinate olives in a mixture of olive oil, finely grated lemon zest and chopped red chilli. Serve with drinks or add to pasta dishes.
Cut 2 lemons in half crossways and cook, cut-side down, on a barbecue or chargrill for 1 minute or until flesh is golden brown and caramelised. Squeeze over barbecued pork or chicken, or chargrilled seafood.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a little grated lemon zest to some thickened cream. Sweeten with icing sugar to taste, then whisk until firm peaks form. Serve with chopped fruit.
Dress steamed green vegetables – such as broccoli, beans and sugar snap peas – with a mixture of 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds to serve.
For a warming winter drink, add a sliced lemon and 2 cinnamon sticks to a large pot of black tea. Allow to steep for 5 minutes then serve with honey, if desired.