Monday, April 12, 2010

Loads of Lemons

I'm having a citrus moment. Ok, it might border more on an obsessive compulsion these days. It started with my discovery that these Meyer lemons I'd been reading about for years that all the lucky food types in warmer climes waxed on about were available for a very reasonable price in the P Street Whole Foods.

I've come late to the Meyer lemon party, but for anyone who hasn't seen them they are both delicious and truly lovely looking. They're smaller than a regular lemon and smoother and they glow with the most intense yellow lemon-ness. They also smell and taste divine-like a cross between a lemon and a clementine or tangerine, lemon but sweet enough to eat alone. You get the picture.

I bought them by the dozen for as long as I could find them. Then friends started buying them for me and delivering them to me. They're irresistible.

I made good use of the bounty of Meyer lemons that came my way. In salad dressing,in intensely lemony shortbread, as a marinade with oranges and parsley for fantastic grilled chicken. I froze juice, I candied lemon peels. I even made some preserved lemons despite never having cooked with them before. I had Meyer lemon fever, which gave way to a very citrusy winter/spring in general when the Meyer lemons were no more.

When forced to move on to more pedestrian citrus the results were still pretty great. The roast chicken we served for a part of passover seder this year was heavenly, basted in a combo of lemon and orange juice. And you've already heard about the grapefruit marmalade which we just ran out of sadly.

It's nice to have something bright and fresh to tide you over these last few weeks before growing season really hits. Washington's season starts earlier than the brief summers in VT, but not early enough for me. I'm positively itching for the neighborhood (producer only) farmers' market to start and our CSA kicks in at the end of the month. The citrus filled the hole admirably, but despite my inclination to buy local whenever possible I'm not ready to give up on lemony recipes. The pasta with tuna, capers, basil and lemon zest that I made for a recent barbecue served as a good reminder of lemon uses in summer. Mmmmmm.