Pucker Up: It’s Lemon Season!
Winter in Florida is lemon picking time—a seasonal signpost in the land of sunshine. As with other citrus trees, the branches of local lemon trees are hanging heavy with fruit, ready for harvesting. Many of us are lucky enough to have a flavorful bounty growing right in our backyard. If not, Florida lemons are readily available at the market this time of year.
So what to do with the abundance of these refreshing, zingy fruits? Save lemonade for summertime and instead use them to brighten up your winter cooking. Lemons add acid, heightening other flavors and imparting a bright, tangy zip to many dishes. Plus, they are full of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium.
Try squeezing lemon juice on chicken before roasting, or whisking it into a garlicky vinaigrette. Grate lemon zest onto sautéed winter greens, or add it to baked goods for a fresh, flavorful pop. And at their peak of ripeness, lemons can be preserved in their own juice and salt; the resulting edible rinds will add an exotic, lemony flavor to all types of dishes, year round.
Selecting & Storing Lemons
When picking or buying lemons, look for small, bright yellow fruits with a glossy finish. They should feel firm and heavy for their size. Avoid purchasing lemons with bruises, cuts, or blemishes. Lemons can be stored on the counter for up to 10 days, or kept in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.