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February 12, 2006

Meyer Lemon Salsa

You may all remember that I picked up some Meyer lemons at the farmers' market a couple of weeks ago. I've been using them in various dishes ever since, but I had a feeling that I hadn't really found a way to use the special qualities of the Meyer lemon to their best advantage. The Meyer lemon does make a fantastic vinaigrette dressing, but when I used Meyer lemons in the way I most often use regular lemons - adding a squeeze or two of the juice to various dishes at the end of cooking to perk up flavors - I couldn't help thinking that I'd have been better off with a regular lemon - the Meyer doesn't have the bracing tartness of a regular lemon, and its subtle sweetness tends to get lost in any complex cooked dish.

It was starting to make me downright grumpy. Here I am with some of the most culinarily-prized citrus fruit available, and I can't think of anything to do with it.

Fortunately, a food blogger came to my rescue. Amy over at Cooking with Amy has an entire post on what to do with Meyer lemons.

This morning, I tried out a variation on Amy's suggestion for a Meyer lemon salsa, with a few substitutions. I only had garlic-stuffed green olives, rather than oil-cured, and I had some parsley on hand. So, it's sort of a strange cross between a salsa and a gremolata. But it's tasty.

The Ingredients

  • 1 Meyer lemon, scrubbed well
  • 1 large handful chopped parsley
  • ~10 large garlic-stuffed green olives
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

The Steps

  1. Cut the lemon into slices, and cut the slices radially into very fine wedges. (Or however you like - basically you're looking for a lot of tiny chunks of lemon with rind attached.)
  2. Put the cut up lemon in a bowl, and tip your cutting board over the bowl to let any lemon juices run into the bowl.
  3. Coarsely chop the green olives and add them to the bowl.
  4. Add the chopped parsley.
  5. Drizzle in a little olive oil and stir everything together. Season to taste with pepper.

Wow. I have to admit, I was a little dubious about eating the lemon rind, but this stuff is fabulous. It's got a wonderful sunshine-y lemon flavor, without being sour or puckery. I think it probably would be even better with some oil-cured olives - their earthier meatier flavor would round out the flavors nicely. Though I did like the garlic flavor from the garlic-stuffed olives. Perhaps next time I'll use some of each.

I ate some of this on slices of rye crispbread. I'm sure it would be great, as Amy suggests, with grilled fish, or even with roasted chicken or pork. Or as a topping for a whole wheat pita stuffed with roasted eggplant and zucchini.

I think I need to get to the farmers market and get some more Meyer lemons.

Posted by spaceling at February 12, 2006 09:16 AM

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