If you haven’t already noticed, I am a lover of lemon and pretty much all Citrus. Today we are talking Lemons – 3 ways to use in recipes. Lemon, to me is the easiest way to add flavor to almost everything. If you think about it, Lemon is in so many foods and drinks. In this segment of my blog posts, I will show you 3 ways with a different ingredient or recipe and today is a favorite for sure, Lemons!
So let’s talk Lemons first. This brightly hued fruit with an unmistakable scent and flavor originates in Southeast Asia, specifically Northeast India but its original source appears to be unknown. The lemon is one of the rare fruits where everything is used for both culinary and antiseptic purposes. The juice, skin, pulp and leaves are all used. Think lemon juice for lemonade, skin (zest) for savory and sweet dishes like Lemon Bars! What about preserved lemons? These are beautifully preserved lemon segments used in North African dishes. And how about lemon leaves? Did you know you could add this and roast chicken and fish on these? Yes! How amazing is that?
The introduction of the Lemon to the Americas
The history of the lemon as we know it, tells us that Christopher Columbus brought seeds with him to Hispaniola on his voyage. From there it’s no wonder that the seeds spread around the southern half of what is America via Spanish Exploration. The climate in the southern parts of the United States would mimic that of Southern Italy where the lemons were one of the first areas of true cultivation. The lemon shows up in early Roman times, early Persia, Egypt and Iraq. The first major cultivation of the fruit was in Genoa, Italy around the middle of the 15th century.
Lemons – Nutritional value
You never think about the nutritional value that lemons offer. Did you know these handy facts about lemons:
- They are rich in Vitamin C and fiber.
- Very low in calories
- Rich in Potassium
- Fair amount of Vitamin B6
Pretty impressive for something we add to water or use as a garnish. I use lemons in so much of my cooking and I just love the fresh, bright flavors it offers and I can always use an extra dose of Vitamin C.
So let’s do a deep dive into food.
Lemons – 3 ways to use in recipes
One of our absolute favorites dishes and yours too, (based on Pinterest) is our One Pan Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Rice. It’s is just the absolute best! This recipe has the intense flavor of lemon zest, juice and accented by Rosemary. What could be better than that!
Another favorite of ours and yours too is my Lemon Arugula Pasta Salad. Our most searched recipe on the Googles…Bowtie pasta, with grilled chicken, feta and arugula all covered with a pucker-y Easy Lemon Dijon Dressing.
And I’m going to give you one more idea for using up that huge bag of lemons from your trip to Costco. My Lemon Thyme Couscous with Olives is the BEST side dish for roasted chicken, pork chops or lamb. It’s hands down the best way to serve couscous! Try it, your taste buds will thank you and so will your family 😉.
How about Lemons in drinks?
Another favorite around here is Limoncello. Did you know you can make it at home? I have never made it but I do buy it and typically always have a bottle in the fridge to drink post a large meal. Usually for us it’s the final finish after a plate of Rich Ragu Bolognese Sauce. Oh yeah, it’s a perfect ending to a rich meal.
How about a Lemon Drop cocktail? Another classic cocktail with simple ingredients and with a birthplace here in California. San Francisco to be exact. Simple to make and pleasing to most palates..I may try one this weekend, it’s sounding so tasty right now.
I think I will be heading to my nearest Farmers market this weekend to buy a bagful of lemons 🍋and make some of these delicious lemony favorites of mine.
What’s your favorite way of using lemons? Comment below, would love to know!
Until next time!