Whenever I’m asked what my favorite ingredients are to cook with, lemons are always among the first “secret cooking weapons” out of my mouth. They simply make anything and everything fresher and more delicious. There are certain things my kitchen NEVER runs out of and lemons are high on the list – right up there with Kosher salt, black peppercorns, and sweet tea (I’m Southern, after all).
I was recently received a beautiful box of big, gorgeous, fragrant lemons from Limoneira and I’m still flying high over the beauties.
My Personal Favorite Ways to Use Lemons
Lemon Olive Oil Dressing
Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s really no good reason to buy salad dressing. Not only is it easy to make, yourself, it’s healthier and much more delicious. One of my favorite salad dressings is so simple I refuse to even call it a recipe. It’s more like steps… baby steps at that.
- Put your tossed green salad in a single-serving bowl or a large bowl. My favorite cast of characters include baby spinach, romaine, radishes, carrots, black olives, celery, and red onion.
- Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil – a good quality of EVOO, of course.
- Squeeze fresh lemon over the top.
- Sprinkle some Kosher salt over the juice.
This makes such a wonderful salad, you’ll swear off mass-produced dressings forever and ever, amen. Wholesome, healthy, easy, and crazy good.
Lemon and Sea Salt: Perfect for Cleaning Wooden Cutting Boards
Whenever I use lemons for recipes or tea, I always hang onto what remains of the lemon for a perfect “scrubber” for my wooden cutting board. Simply lay out your cutting board, sprinkle it with some sea salt, and have at it with the inside of your beautiful yellow natural scrubber.
Each time I do this, I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of the cutting board. It —- looks—– so—– relaxing.
Lemon in Green Tea and Black Tea
Given the fact that I’m the Crazy Tea Chick, it comes as no surprise that I’m constantly in a state of drinking tea – whether iced, hot, or somewhere in between. Lemon, added to ANY tea makes the experience all the better, but it’s ideal if you aren’t fond of the taste of green tea. The lemon perks it up and takes away the flavor that turns some people off.
Before plopping a wedge or two or thirteen into your tea, sprinkle a little sugar on the lemon for a little extra decadence.
It’s great with black tea, of course, but – again – if you’re trying to drink more green tea for its amazing health benefits, sugared lemons may be your secret weapon.
Fresh lemon juice may also be the thing to help you fall in love with Matcha – one of the healthiest drinks you can enjoy. I LOVE a combination of lime juice and lemon juice in Matcha, with a little honey. Perfection.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
My husband’s favorite vegetable is asparagus, so you’d be absolutely correct if you said it was the first vegetable I obsessed over perfecting. Over the years, I’ve done just about every conceivable culinary thing with asparagus but his favorite (as well as my own) is roasted asparagus – either in an iron skillet or in the oven.
Roasted Asparagus in the Oven
- Pre-Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- “Trim” the asparagus by taking each one and finding the “magic spot.” The magic spot is where the asparagus naturally wants to bend and snap. Snap it off, with your hands. Discard the tough end and put the the rest of the asparagus into a bowl
- Drizzle with three tablespoons olive oil (per bunch). Don’t go with more because it’ll just make the asparagus soggy and that’s pretty gross. Sprinkle with salt (about a teaspoon) and black pepper (around 1/2 teaspoon). Optional: Add a minced clove of garlic (I almost always do so – unless the main course is garlicky, then I leave it out).
- Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Bake until it is JUST tender – usually around the 12 minute mark, but start checking at the 8 minute mark. This is really a matter of personal preference. Just be sure not to let it go too far – you want the asparagus to have some snap and personality left, after all.
- Sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon just before serving and arrange a few extra slices around the plate or platter.
Asparagus in an Iron Skillet
If you’ve never made asparagus in an iron skillet, you have to give it a go. It’s phenomenal.
- “Trim” the asparagus as described above.
- Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in an iron skillet on the stove.
- Place the asparagus in the butter and toss the spears around a little with a spatula – making sure each one is covered in butter all the way around.
- Cover and cook between 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Check at 3 to see if they’re how you like them – if they aren’t quite “there,” go a few minute more.
- Season with salt, pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon.
Limoneira Company, a 124-year-old international agribusiness headquartered in Santa Paula, California, has grown to become one of the premier integrated agribusinesses in the world. Limoneira (pronounced lē mon΄âra) is a dedicated sustainability company with approximately 10,700 acres of rich agricultural lands, real estate properties and water rights in California and Arizona. The Company is a leading producer of lemons, avocados, oranges, specialty citrus and other crops that are enjoyed throughout the world.
Every day is lemon day at Limoneira Ranch, but for everyone else who doesn’t live on a citrus farm, there are several lemon dessert days throughout the year to look forward to celebrating!
Lemon Chiffon Cake Day – March 29
Delicious, classic, light and airy, a lemon chiffon cake is a perfect way to welcome spring time and Easter. A Limoneira favorite recipe features a creamy lemon curd filling and a balanced whipped cream frosting.
Lemon Meringue Day – August 15
Both sweet and tart, there are many ways to interpret lemon meringue. It can be a pie, cookies, tarts, cheesecakes and more, but one of Limoneira’s favorite ways to enjoy lemon meringue is in the form of homemade ice cream!
Lemonade Day – August 20
Lemonade day is a great way to get creative with kids! This cool, refreshing summer treat is easy to make and remake with different combinations of fruit. Create your own recipe or find some inspiration online!
Lemon Crème Pie Day – November 29
Rich, smooth and bursting with lemony goodness, lemon crème pies are easy to make and can be prepared with just a few, simple ingredients.
Lemon Cupcake Day – December 15
On lemon cupcake day, create and enjoy as many varieties of delightful, beautiful and bright lemon cupcakes as you care for! A few of Limoneira’s favorite cupcakes include limoncello cupcakes, honey lemon cupcakes, and the classic lemon cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting.
To view a great collection of Limoneira’s favorite lemony dessert recipes, visit their Pinterest page!
For more about Limoneira Company, visit www.limoneira.com.