Lemons add zip to salads, desserts

The tart flavour of citrus brightens winter dishes as much as it refreshes in the hot summer. We commonly use the juice but the zest or peel adds a punch of flavour.

When zesting or using the rind, be sure not to cut into the white bitter pith under the peel.

Citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamins B and C, fibre, folate, potassium, calcium and antioxidants.

The juice of one lemon has only 12 calories and more than 35 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C.

Shaker Lemon Pie

The Meyer lemon is native to China and is a cross between a lemon and an orange. The result is a sweeter and less acidic fruit.

Filling:

  • 2 c. sugar 500 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 1 mL
  • 2 Meyer lemons, zested and thinly sliced, seeds discarded
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted 60 mL
  • 3 tbsp. flour 45 mL

Crust:

  • 1 3/4 c. flour, plus more
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening 30 mL
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 5 mL
  • 4 tbsp. ice cold water 60 mL

Toss sugar, salt and lemon zest and slices in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Pulse flour, cold butter, shortening and salt in a food processor into pea-size crumbles. Add water and pulse until dough forms. Divide dough in half and make two flattened balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill one hour.

Heat oven to 425 F (220 C). Whisk eggs in a bowl until frothy. Whisk in melted butter and three tablespoons (45 mL) flour. Stir into reserved lemon mixture.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk of dough into a round and fit into a nine inch (23 cm) pie plate. Trim edges using a knife, leaving one inch (2.5 cm) dough overhanging edge of plate. Pour in filling.
Roll remaining disk dough into a round and place over top of pie. Trim and crimp edges and cut steam vents in the top crust. Bake until crust starts to brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 F (175 C) and bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Roasted Citrus and Avocado Salad

  • 1 blood or Valencia orange, sliced 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick, seeds removed
  • 1 lemon, sliced 1/8 inch thick, seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided 60 mL
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 30 mL
  • 1 bunch watercress or arugula, thick stems trimmed
  • 1/2 c. fresh mint leaves, optional 125 mL
  • 1 avocado, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Toss orange and lemon slices with one tablespoon (15 mL) oil on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper. Roast citrus, tossing occasionally, until lightly charred in spots and starting to caramelize, 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Meanwhile, combine onion and lemon juice in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and let sit five minutes. The onion will soften a bit and become slightly sweeter and less harsh.
Add roasted citrus to bowl with onion along with arugula and mint. Drizzle remaining three tablespoons (45 mL) oil over, season with salt and pepper and toss everything to combine and coat. Add avocado and gently toss with your hands until lightly dressed. – Source: adapted from Bon Appetit.

Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at allourfingersinthepie.blogspot.ca. Contact: team@producer.com.

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