What to do with…LEMONS34

Posted on July 15, 2008 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free, Sweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian

All it\'s bits are edible - yum!

What to do with… is a new series I’m starting. Each segment will feature one of my favourite ingredients with a list of simple ways to use it. I’d love for everyone to join in and add their recipe idea or tip in the comments.

The plan is to build up a nice long list to be bookmarked and referred to when we have the particular ingredient on hand. What to do with… ingredients will also be featured on the recipe page for quick reference. So here goes!


Lemons are available all year round, but are actually in season during Winter.

The fantastic thing about lemons is that every part of the fruit can be eaten and used to cook with; the juice, the flesh and the zesty skin. They are invaluable in both sweet and savoury dishes and can even be used for non-cooking related activities like cleaning!

When purchasing, choose lemons with bright and shiny skin and that feel heavy for their size. I honestly cannot live without lemons in my kitchen. How about you?

Lemons are a match made in heaven with: olive oil, fish and shellfish, cream, lamb, chicken, cous cous, ginger, fresh herbs, tea, rice, potato, avocado, honey, yoghurt.


  • Mix one part lemon juice with three parts olive oil, a little Dijon mustard and honey to make a sweet and sour dressing for salad greens, roasted vegetables, potato salad or grilled fish.
  • Squeeze half a lemon into hot water with a spoonful of honey and enjoy first thing in the morning… or anytime!
  • Alternatively, add sliced rounds and fresh mint to a jug of iced sparkling water to cool you down on a hot Summer day.
  • Make preserved lemons: Slice lemons into quarters and pack tightly into sterilised jars with coarse sea salt, black peppercorns and a few bay leaves. Cover completely with freshly squeezed lemon juice and leave in a dark, warm place for a month, shaking occasionally. Rinse each lemon before use and enjoy in salads, stews, cous cous and pasta dishes.
  • Use the juice and flesh to zest up a Sunday lamb roast, with rosemary, paprika and garlic.
  • Mix equal quantities of chopped lemon zest, garlic and parsley to make gremolata. Serve sprinkled over osso bucco, lamb shanks, grilled fish, risotto or chunky soups.
  • Freshen up a tub of hummus that’s been sitting in the back of the fridge with a quick squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and some toasted pine nuts. Voila – back from the dead!
  • Finely grate some zest into freshly whipped cream and serve with your favourite slice of cake or pudding. (Or devour it as is, I would!).
  • TOP TIP: To get the maximum amount of juice out of your lemon roll it along your cooking bench while pressing down firmly. This will break down the tendrils and release loads of juice when you squeeze it.

I could go on and on – but I’ll leave some ideas for you in the comments!

What are other food bloggers doing with lemons?

What do you make with lemons? Got a tip? Leave a comment and join in!

Happy cooking, Christie

  • Kim

    Thanks for an informative post Christy! I am going to give the Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi a try for my daughter who lived on gnocchi while studying in London.

  • Hey Christie – Thanks for inclusing my pork chops recipe!! I love your pic of lemons. That is my top tip that I love to give too – about rolling the lemons around to maximaise juicage – it’s a good one. Gremolata is something i always seem to forget about too so thanks for including that.

  • Homemade Limoncello and then continue on with a lemon tiramisu.

  • Cool idea! Thanks for the link:-)

  • We’ve been using a LOT of lemon lately, since my husband’s been suffering from some all-encompassing Lemon Craving. These are some good ideas for more ways to accomodate that!

  • Oh this is a great new feature Christie…the limoncello was wonderful and I’m going to use the limoncello to make a limoncello lemon pie!

  • Love, love, love lemons. . .one of the ways we eat it is: sliced into wedges, sprinkled with salt — then, suck and keep sucking!

  • one of the best posts i’ve come across today – love these kinds that have good info, and point to good resources! uh, doesn’t hurt that i love lemons, too :)

  • Great lemon tips. My best tip for lemons is to buy the bags of lemons at Costco, then just before they’re going bad and you can’t possibly use them all, squeeze the lemon juice into a glass jar and store in the freezer. Presto, fresh squeezed lemon juice whenever you need it. You can also freeze it into ice cube trays and put the cubes into a freezer container when they’re hard.

  • Y

    Funny, I was just thinking yesterday of buying a bag of lemons to play with, because I love lemons too. First up on my list is lemon curd.

  • I like this new feature :) And thanks for the great links. Lemons are so indispensible…

  • Great tips Christie, I am going to try your method for getting the maximum amount of juice out of a lemon (something that has given me problems in the past).

  • Tonight I prepared soba noodles then tossed them with 3 Tablespoons butter, the juice and zest of one lemon half, a handful of crisp -tender sugar snap peas and a little salt and pepper. It made a nice side dish for grilled salmon.

    This sounds like a great series. I look forward to seeing what’s next.

  • What a great series! I just love all the great info and links! It’s a one stop learning shop! Can’t wait to read more of this great series.

  • Hi Kim,
    Me too! That gnocchi looks gorgeous – thanks Jaden!

    Hi Helen,
    Great minds think alike ;)

    Hi Peter,
    Oooh lemon tiramisu – sounds delicious. Recipe please!

    Hi Marc,
    Thanks and you’re welcome.

    Hi Fearless Kitchen,
    Glad I could be of service. I can totally understand your husbands lemon craving too. Mmmm.

    Hi Noble Pig,
    Can’t wait to see your lemon pie pic and recipe!

    Hi JS,
    Wow, that’s intense – a true lemon lover! :)

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you! That means a lot coming from you – all hail tastespotting!

    Hi Kalyn,
    Nice one Kalyn! I do that too but forgot to include it, so thanks a million.

    Hi Y,
    Oooh lemon curd – how could I have missed it out? Thanks for remembering. Yum.

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks! It’s nice to share all the wonderful recipes that are out there.

    Hi Bobby,
    Let me know how you go!

    Hi Lisa,
    Fantastic recipe – thank you! All those ingredients sound gorgeous together.

    Hi White On Rice Couple,
    Glad you like it! I better get started on the next ingredient then…!

  • this is an awesome idea! i always, always enjoy learning new things about food, so i’ll definitely appreciate your efforts here!
    and believe it or not, i’ve never had lemony potatoes, and i’ll be trying it asap! :)

  • Lemon is an absolutely indispensible item in my kitchen. A squeeze of lemon juice is great for flavoring pastas, and I dress so many salads with just olive oil and lemon juice. Of those, I think the lemon best compliments the flavors of a cucumber watercress salad. I also love what it contributes to my Spring Fusilli with Peas – a bright, flavorful, and easy dish. Long live the lemon!

  • I seldom cook without lemons – it can truly elevate any mediocre dish to something special. Thanks for all the “lemon recipe” links.

  • Thanks so much for featuring our post! this is a great list. we should all thank the wonderful lemon for all they bring to so many dishes and drinks!

  • mmmm, so many great ideas. I love lemons and two of my favorite lemon recipes are lemon tarts and lemon meringue pie.

  • Another favourite combination for me is lemon and blueberries. :)

    One trick I use for getting the most juice out of a lemon is to put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. It really works!

  • Hi Grace,
    Let me know what you think of lemon on potato salad – my guess is you’ll love it!

    Hi Hayley,
    Pasta, lemon and peas – what a lovely combo. Thanks for joining in!

    Hi Nina,
    Absolutely, it adds freshness.

    Hi We Are Never Full,
    You’re welcome – that lemon water ice of yours is lovely.

    Hi Madeline,
    Oh lemon tarts – yum! A very good way to use lemons.

    Hi Dragon,
    Lemon and blueberries? I’m intrigued.
    Microwaves – hmmm, I’m not a fan. But if it works for you that’s great!

  • I love love love lemons..here is my contribution Lemon Blossoms

  • Wow, thanks for a great post. I love lemons too. Lemon meringue pie is probably my favourite dessert ever, and I love roast chicken with lemon and thyme.

  • Christie,

    This is an awesome idea! I’m always needing little tips like these, especially when I have something left over that I just can’t bear to throw away! :)

    I also find myself buying lemons often and just using the skins for cakes and baked goods…but now I know what else I can do with ’em!

  • Hi Leslie,
    Thanks for the link! Love those blossoms.

    Hi Lisa,
    Mmmm roast chicken, lemon and thyme – Yes! I’m loving getting all these fabulous ideas.

    Hi Sophie,
    I know you’re a fantastic baker! I’ve got more savoury tips, but would love some sweet ones…

    Keep ’em coming guys – this is great!

  • lemons, lemons, lemons… I seem to have developed a ‘thing’ for citrus lately, too.
    My Preserved Lemons exercise and a zesty citrus lemon cake can be found at:

  • Pingback: What to do with Lemons??? - Page 2 - British Expats Australia - Aussie Connection()

  • wk

    My friend has a lemon tattoo on her ankle!

  • Tei
  • Jo

    Limoncello Gelato – Mix zest of 3 lemons plus thier juice and 190g icing sugar together and leave for 30 mins. Take 6 large lemons, and cut lengthwise, remove flesh being careful not to break the skin and set aside (who can tell me what to do with that??). Whip 550ml double cream with 3 tbs of limoncello liquer and whisk to soft peaks add in lemon mixture, Put cream mixture into lemon halves and freeze for 5-6 hours minimum. Cut into quarters just before serving. Delicious!

    • Great recipe Jo! Thanks for sharing it with us.

      Regarding the lemon flesh – you could squeeze the juice out of it and freeze for later use (in dressings, sauces, lemon curd etc). Or throw it into the blender and whizz up and strain. Add sugar and soda water to make a refreshing lemonade. Yum!

  • Marg.Thompson

    How long will the preserved lemons keep ?I have Lemons going mouldy on the tree as I dont know what to do with them.If lemons last a while Preserved I will do that

    • Hi Marg, I think they keep for at least a year so you should be good to go! Christie

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