Do you know that phrase "It's a lemon" when something is faulty or defective, well I disagree.
In the midst of winter, lemons and other citrus fruits are considered the fruit of the moment, and in season, so noting faulty here. Citrus fruits are tasty and full of juice this time of the year, and the best of all, they offer a much needed vitamin C boost. To finish a dish with fresh lemon juice e.g., in a salad or freshly squeezed over a grilled or roasted fish, brings much zing and a vital freshness to the dish. In addition, the citrus juice awakens the palate.
The winter blues
Personally I'm done with winter by now and with February daylight getting noticeably longer, and the celebration of Valentine’s Day with all the flowers … I am in the spring mood.
The bright taste of lemon in this dressing brings vitality to winter and it is rather simple!
Basic Salad with EVOO and Lemon
(recipe for 1 person)
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
3-5 turns of black pepper, from the mill
When it comes to squeezing your lemons a nifty trick to get the most juice is to microwave them for 20 seconds, which will soften the skin. That halved lemon squeezed yields nicely in your palm. Another kitchen 101 is to roll the lemon with your palm, pressing down on a kitchen counter. It will let you squeeze out the last drop of lemon juice of your halved lemons. Try it and you'll continue to use these trick for sure.
I recommend finely chopped kale and baby spinach at a ratio of 1:2 for your salad mix. These greens are perfectly complemented by mandarins separated into segments and cut in half, which bring a great juicy quality to the salad. Add some roasted almonds or sunflower seeds for crunch and a nutty flavor and you have a nice salad.
Toss your ingredients and serve in large salad bowls. Serve olive oil, with crusty French bread drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Lastly some fun facts about lemons:
- Lemon trees bloom and produce fruit year-round. Each lemon tree produces up to 600 pounds of lemons in a year.
- Research has shown that lemon balm has a calming effect and therefore may be able to help to fight fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, nervousness, and tension. And, combined with other calming herbs such as hops, and chamomile lemon balm may help to promote sleep
- Lemon is always a helpful remedy for chills and fever -- add the juice of 1 lemon to a cup of hot water with honey and drink at once.
- Drink the juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon in a glass of luke-warm water after each meal. The lemon acid will stimulate the production of stomach acid and the activity of stomach muscles to aid in digestion.
So when life gives you lemons … appreciate them!