Green Fingers I Wish

Friday, August 01, 2008

Lemons in Cooking

The lemon is the ultimate citrus fruit, full of tart, sunlit juice, ready to dispense its blessings to sweet and savoury dishes and to drinks hot and cold. Its golden juice is a miracle-worker, bringing life and light to anything from a grilled fillet of fish to a devastatingly rich lemon posset.


Use it with olive oil and oregano to breathe Greek flavour into any salad, squeeze onto free-range chicken before roasting, or over sautéed courgettes or freshly boiled broad beans. A squeeze or two can brighten up dull sauces or soups, highlighting inherent flavours.

Lemony puddings come in many forms, rich with cream or pure and light. Real lemon sorbet is divine and so too is lemon ice cream. Top a scoop or two with raspberry or strawberry coulis, an optional shot of grappa or vodka and top up with sparkling prosecco or cava. Wow.

Lemon zest knocks the socks off so many other flavourings. Use in marinades, stuffings, dressings, cakes, biscuits, trifles, soufflés, rice puddings, poached fruit or buttery breadcrumb crusts for fish or lamb. For the ultimate pick-me-up for any number of savoury dishes, stews especially, knock up an Italian gremolata - finely grated lemon zest mixed with finely chopped parsley and garlic - and sprinkle over minutes before serving. It works every time.


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