Lemon season has begun!
That being said, it is important to know how to use the abundance of lemons before they go bad. Never throw out a lemon! Lemons are one of those foods that can be used in almost any form. If you can’t use them while they are fresh on your counter, squeeze them and freeze the juice. Grate the zest and freeze it in a plastic freezer bag for later use. Rub the pulp on your fingernails and strengthen them. And finally, add any remaining peel to your garbage disposal to freshen it up.
Now how do you pick a good lemon?
Choose the smaller heavier ones, with a tinge of green on the end. These will last 3-4 weeks longer than the larger, more yellow ones. Lemons are ripe when they give to a little pressure. Most hard lemons will soften once placed in room temperature storage. Hard lemons yield very little juice, so wait until they give a little before cutting in.
What is the best storage technique?
While a room-temperature lemon will yield more juice, storing lemons in the refrigerator will double their storage life. Leaving lemons at room temperature encourages mold. So, store in the fridge inside a produce drawer or plastic bag.
What is the best technique to get as much juice as possible from a lemon?
Roll room-temperature lemons on a hard service before squeezing. By rolling it, the tiny juice-filled cells burst, allowing for more juice to be extracted. The average lemon contains approximately 3 tablespoons of juice and 1 tablespoon of zest.
Here is a lemon recipe that you are sure to enjoy.
Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
A cool and lemony dressing perfect for tender leafy greens with butter lettuce, mache, or mesclun.
1 cup boiling water
1/2 medium lemon, seeds removed
20 fresh mint leaves, or enough to tightly pack 1/4 cup
1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Pour the boiling water into a bowl and add the lemon half. Stir and let steep for 30 minutes. Chill the lemon water and the lemon.
2. Once chilled, place lemon, 1/2 cup of the lemon water, mint leaves, vinegar, and honey in a blender. Puree.
3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and return strained liquid to the blender.
4. Pour in the oil gradually, while blender is running on the lowest setting, until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Stir well before serving, or place in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well-combined.