Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Lemons

lemons

Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

What is it?

A bright yellow citrus fruit, tart lemons brighten both sweet treats and savory dishes. More than 90% of the time they are one of two varieties, Lisbon and Eureka, which are the most common varieties grown in California and Arizona. The two are virtually indistinguishable to most shoppers and have a common flavor profile: the tart, acidic flavor we associate with lemons. A third supermarket variety, Bearss, is grown in Florida and is also quite similar in flavor.

Kitchen math:

1 medium lemon= 4 to 5 Tbs. juice and about 2 Tbs. lightly packed zest if grated with a rasp-style .

Don’t have it?

White wine can sub for lemon when a splash is called for to brighten a sauce or deglaze a pan. In baking, you can try subbing other citrus, though the flavor will be different.

How to choose:

As with all citrus, the winter months are the height of the lemon season, and this is a good time to take advantage of plentiful fruits at good prices. The juiciest lemons tend to be those with thin skins. If the lemon skin is smooth rather than textured, that’s a tip-off that the skin is thin. And small to medium-size lemons are generally thinner skinned than large ones.

How to prep:

For zest: Thick-skinned lemons, which tend to have pebbly-textured skin, are easiest to zest. Before zesting, scrub the lemon’s skin well to remove any residue (a soak in warm water can help remove any wax coating). Remove just the thin yellow layer of rind, not the white pith below. Use a vegetable peeler to get wide strips of zest and a rasp-style grater for finely grated zest.

For juice: Juicers or reamers will extract the maximum amount of juice. Another tip for getting more juice: first roll the lemon on the counter and then microwave for 30 seconds.

How to store:

Store in the refigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Swordfish Brochettes

    The rich but bright marinade on this swordfish would work well with shrimp, scallops, or tuna. Or use them all to make a mixed-seafood brochette.

  • Recipe

    Grilled Summer Squash with Mint Vinaigrette and Pine Nuts

    A fresh vinaigrette lends a bright contrast to the sweetness of summer squash (which gets extra caramelized from the heat of the grill). Serve with BBQ pork or grilled fish.

  • Celery Broccoli Pitas
    Recipe

    Marinated Celery-Broccoli Salad Stuffed Pitas

    Celery and broccoli may be a surprising pairing, but they make an excellent combination when marinated and served with hummus in a boldly flavored summertime sandwich.

  • Grilled Rib-Eye with Avocado-Tahini Puree
    Moveable Feast

    Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Avocado-Tahini Puree

    Need a memorable summer meal? You can’t go wrong with the big flavor of grilled rib-eyes. Paired with this refreshing avocado-tahini purée, they make a true showstopper meal.

  • Green Tomato BBQ Sauce
    Recipe

    Green Tomato BBQ Sauce

    Here’s a great unblended barbecue sauce meant for passing at the table. This is terrific with sticky Korean-style beef short ribs.

  • Bourbon Mustard BBQ Sauce
    Recipe

    Hot Bourbon Mustard BBQ Sauce

    The mustard in this sauce is just the ticket to help tame the barbecue smoke and cut the fat. When blended, brush this sauce onto smoked poultry and pork, or…

  • Hot Pineapple BBQ Sauce
    Recipe

    Hot Pineapple BBQ Sauce

    This sauce is designed for passing, unblended, at the table, ideally with poultry and pork. If you feel like serving it on beef, add a tablespoon of finely chopped ginger…

  • Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
    Recipe

    Lemon and Garlic Green Beans

    This remarkably simple, bright side is quick to prepare.

  • Marinated Green Beans and Baby Corn
    Recipe

    Quick-Marinated Green Beans and Baby Corn

    Marinating green beans for just a short time at room temperature fills them with loads of great flavor. If you can’t find sambal oelek, use Sriracha instead.

  • Frisee, Radish, and Celery Salad
    Recipe

    Radish, Celery, and Frisée Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

    This light, refreshing salad pairs perfectly with frittatas for breakfast or brunch, and rich stews or braises for dinner.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

  • User avater
    sbreckenridge | 12/16/2011

    @ddavis: you can freeze lemon zest too--just seal it well in a heavy duty ziplock bag.

  • ddavis3 | 11/28/2011

    I have a bunch of lemons that I don't want to waste - I know I can freeze the juice, is there a way to preserve the zest for later use?

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks