IN SEASON: LEMONS Bring some zing to the table
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, IT’S TIME TO GET COOKING
emons add wonderful citrus zing to both sweet and savoury dishes and are an invaluable ingredient for every cook.
Globally there are dozens of varieties, while in New Zealand there are just a few widely available, each one having different characteristics. Eureka lemons, for example, are acidic, so are great for marmalades and tangy sauces. Yen bens have a flavoursome skin, so are a good option for zesting. Meyers are quite sweet, largely because they are a hybrid of lemon and mandarin, so are commonly used in desserts and sometimes appear raw in salads and sweets. The recipes over the following pages will work with any variety.
Like all citrus fruits, lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which is why historically they were used by sailors to prevent scurvy. An effective detoxifier, lemon juice squeezed into warm water will also aid digestion, balance the body’s ph levels and reduce inflammation. They can even help the body cope if dehydrated or oxygen deprived – Sir Edmund Hillary swore by lemon juice and water when climbing Everest.
Not only are they great in cooking, the anti-bacterial properties of lemons make them effective in everything from beauty treatments to housework.
To get more juice out of your lemon, lightly push down on it and roll in a circular motion on your kitchen bench before cutting. Store lemons at room temperature, and once cut, keep refrigerated in an airtight container.