In season: Lemons

By
The Editor
Added
29 July, 2014

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or lemon tea. Or lemon meringue tart (yessss). Or lemon cake, lemon chicken, lemon and prawn risotto … really, lemons are pretty high up on our list of things we'd like life to give us, because there's little the sunny yellow citrus can't do and very few dishes that wouldn't be improved by a squeeze of lemon juice.

Australian-grown lemons are available almost all year round (February–October), so there is no excuse not to experiment and enjoy. Main varieties grown in Australia include Eureka, Lisbon and Meyer lemons. Lemon curd, lemon butter, lemon oil, lemon dressing, lemon vinaigrette and lemon sauce can all be used to add another dimension to a dish or you can simply drizzle with lemon juice or garnish with lemon zest. Candied lemon peel is also great for decorating sweets. And for lemons all year round, try making up some jars of preserved or pickled lemons

If you want a tart, acidic, sharp flavour to your dish, Eureka or Lisbon lemons are your go-to varieties. You can tell them apart by their physical characteristics: Eurekas have a more textured skin, a small neck at one end and a few seeds, whereas the Lisbon has a smoother skin, no neck and is usually seedless. If you want a sweeter flavour, try a Meyer lemon.

Depending on the variety, a lemon is ripe when it is a bright, glossy yellow. It should be firm, but not overly hard or squishy, and it should smell lemony. If you are using a lemon for its juice, look for a lemon that is heavy for its size.

Lemons will keep at room temperature for about one week if kept away from direct sunlight. Storing them in your fridge’s crisper will keep them fresh for about four weeks. Lemon juice can be made into ice cubes and kept in plastic bags in the freezer. Dried lemon zest should be stored in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place. 


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