Lemon is the super citrus! Lemons are one of my favorite pantry staples — I always have them on hand. I used to think of lemons as only good as a garnish for drinks, or for lemon meringue pie, but as I travelled around the world, and of course cooked and ate, I learned that there are few things a little lemon juice or a grate of lemon zest can’t improve, and not always in ways you’d expect.
First: The base: Lemon juice makes a great base for marinating grilled fish and meat, and also for roasting fish or chicken. Diluted with a little water it can step in for dry white wine to deglaze a pan or to start a risotto.
Second:The enhancer: Adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the pot at the end of cooking will liven up the flavor of many soups and stews. It can transform store-bought mayonnaise. It works for sweets too. Adding lemon juice to fruits and berries brings out their flavor rather as salt does with savory foods.
Third: The light touch: Lemon zest adds a subtle, sweet lemony-ness to veggies, pastas, pizzas and rice as well as to cakes and desserts. It also makes a delicious tisane which helped me get through my chemo taste bud wars.
All the recipes here use lemons either in a supporting role or as the star. Check them out, and you’ll learn to make lemons into more than just lemonade!