October 27, 2013

When life gives you lemons


I believe that anyone who enjoys making delicious food should have a lemon tree. Lemons are quite possibly my favourite fruit simply because they are one of the most versatile foods you'll find. They can be juiced, zested, preserved, squeezed, sliced into drinks, used in baking, dips, stuffings, sauces, meat dishes and salad dressings. They are an ├╝ber-fruit in my book.

Unfortunately I can't grow lemons to save my life. My poor, tatty, weather-beaten Meyer lemon is in the final stages of a long, slow death. I have long had a dream to say casually to Harper, hey can you go get a lemon from the tree, as I stand quaintly before the kitchen bench. It's not to be.

But a friend has come to the rescue. She has an old tree that seems to have an endless supply, and she generously gave me a bag full. And in order to make the most of this bounty, I anticipate every meal I make from now until I can see the bottom of this bag, possibly sometime in mid 2014, will have some part of a lemon in it. I intend to use lemon in all it's glorious forms in as many ways as I can find. Right after I've had this gin and tonic.

First up, it's in hummus. This is no ordinary, 'buy it in a punnet and it tastes a litte like blended up cardboard'. No sirree. The beauty of making your own hummus is you can adapt it to the way you want it; more garlic here, a little less lemon there, a bit of chilli and coriander, you do it the way you like. You can also - have mercy! - not even use tahini, and I don't because it costs a freaking fortune. I use peanut butter instead, a staple in our house for toast, sarnies and just eating by the sneaky spoonful.  
Here's the recipe I used - by the domestic goddess herself Nigella Lawson, but I add a bit of fresh  coriander and some chilli flakes for extra oomph.

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