This month, turn your taste buds around and enjoy a tart fruit. We celebrate winter’s fresh lemons.
When life gives you lemons… cook up a storm! This tart fruit gives a delicious zesty kick to a whole range of recipes. Lemons are versatile and the flavour complements many other ingredients, both sweet and savoury. Like all citrus fruits, lemons are high in vitamin C.
There are three main varieties. Lisbon lemons are the most common and have smooth, bright yellow skin and a tangy flavour. Meyer lemons are a natural hybrid of a lemon and an orange, so they have a sweeter taste and smooth, pale orange skin. Eureka lemons have a more tart flavour and are pale green in colour.
Choose lemons that are brightly-coloured and feel heavy for their size. Avoid any with wrinkled or bruised skin.
Keep lemons for up to a week at room temperature. They’ll last up to two weeks if you keep them refrigerated.
Lemons can be used in a variety of ways. To prepare, rinse then slice, juice or zest as required. To zest, use a fine grater, vegie peeler or zester. The juice is lovely squeezed over salads, on chicken, fish or vegies, while lemon wedges are great served with seafood dishes. Lemon zest is tasty added to baking, desserts, salsas and more. Lemon juice can also prevent cut fruit and vegies from going brown due to its acidity.
3 ways with lemons
Combine fresh, low-fat ricotta with the zest and juice of a lemon. Add a little caster sugar. Spread over toast, pancakes or scones for a tangy treat.
Make this lemony yoghurt sauce to serve with chicken, white fish, salmon or steamed vegies. Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the zest of a lemon, 1/2 cup low-fat natural yoghurt, a few shredded mint leaves, a pinch of chilli and a little garlic.
Try a lemon and chilli pasta. Toss cooked spaghetti with the zest and juice of a lemon, slivered almonds, chilli flakes, steamed broccoli, reduced-fat feta and zucchini ribbons.