101 Things to do with Lemons
While looking for a recipe in the archives, I found a message that I
posted in 1999. That was 10 years ago, but it is still a pretty good
101 Things To Do With Lemons
By ANN CRISWELL
Copyright 1999 Houston Chronicle Food Editor
Here are 101 ideas and tips on making the most of lemons:
Selecting, storing, yields
1. Lemons are sorted, packed and sold by size. The size designated on
the end of the shipping carton indicates the number of lemons packed in
the carton -- the larger the number, the smaller the fruit. Average
lemon sizes are 140s and 165s.
2. One medium lemon yields about 3 tablespoons juice and 3 teaspoons
grated zest. Five to six lemons yield 1 cup juice.
3. A lemon will yield the most juice when left at room temperature and
rolled on the counter with the palm of the hand before squeezing.
4. Briefly warm a lemon in the microwave oven to free up the juice.
Depending on oven wattage and the size of the lemon, heat 1 lemon on
high power 20 to 40 seconds or just until warm to the touch.
5. When a recipe calls for the juice of half a lemon, refrigerate the
remaining half, wrapped in clear plastic wrap, to keep it fresh.
6. The best way to make lemon wedges: Cut an unpeeled lemon in half
lengthwise; place cut-side-up and cut 3 to 4 wedges from each half.
7. To make lemon cartwheels, cut a thin slice from both ends of an
unpeeled lemon; slice lemon crosswise into desired thickness.
8. Fresh lemon juice freezes well. Keep it handy by freezing measured
amounts, 1 or 2 tablespoons, in ice-cube trays. Store frozen cubes in a
tightly sealed plastic bag; thaw and use as needed.
9. When a recipe calls for lemon zest, it refers to the thinnest
colored part of the peel only. The outer yellow-colored peel (flavedo)
has tiny oil sacs full of distinctive lemon flavor, but the white pith
and peel beneath it are bitter. Freeze freshly grated lemon zest in a
small plastic bag.
10. Whole lemons should never be frozen. The juice sacs burst. When
fruit thaws, the pulp often will be dry and mushy. Instead, separately
freeze the juice, grated zest and reamed-out shells to use as
11. For extra pizazz, dip the moistened edge of a lemon wedge into
paprika or finely chopped parsley.
12. Decorate lemon cartwheels with whole cloves; pimento strips or
cutouts; pickle fans; sliced or stuffed green olives; sprinkles of
paprika; ground cloves or cinnamon; or mint, parsley or cilantro sprigs.
13. Grate zest over wax paper before cutting and squeezing the lemon for
juice. To measure grated zest, measure lightly into a spoon.
14. To sliver lemon zest, remove the outer yellow peel with a vegetable
parer. Boil in water 3 to 4 minutes or until limp. Cut into thin strips.
Re-simmer in a sauce of choice.
15. Serve lemon sugar in hot or iced tea; over fruits; or on pancakes,
waffles or cereal. Combine 1 cup sugar with grated zest of 1 lemon;
store in tightly covered container.
16. To dry lemon zest, grate zest and spread in single layer on baking
sheet. Dry in 200-degree oven 1 hour. Cool; store in covered container.
Six tablespoons fresh grated zest, from about 6 lemons, will dry to 3
tablespoons zest. Use in potpourri or mix with coarsely ground black
pepper for seasoning.
17. For low-calorie lemonade, measure 1/4 cup sugar; add enough
low-calorie sugar substitute to equal 3/4 cup sugar mixture. Mix with 1
cup lemon juice. Stir to dissolve sugar mixture in water. Add 4 cups
cold water; stir well. Serve over ice. Makes 6 cups.
18. Fresh Fruit Lemonade: Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries, whole
raspberries or puréed blueberries to a 6-cup pitcher of lemonade.
19. To add flavor to fresh lemonade, include a bit of chopped
crystallized ginger, fresh mint leaves or a few drops of mint extract.
20. To make colorful ice cubes, drop small wedges of lemon, green
maraschino cherries and strawberry halves into ice-cube trays. Fill with
water and freeze. Serve in lemonade and clear beverages.
21. Lemonade Syrup Base is an easy way to keep lemonade on hand.
Dissolve 1 1/2 cups sugar in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add grated zest of 1
lemon and 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice. Refrigerate in covered
container. Makes 2 2/3 cups. For one glass: Add 3/4 cup cold water to
1/4- 1/3 cup syrup base; serve over ice. For 8 cups, add 5 cups cold
water to the full syrup base recipe.
22. Hot lemonade by the mug: Preheat a mug with hot tap water. Pour 1/4
cup Lemonade Syrup Base and 3/4 cup boiling water into mug; stir. Serve
with cinnamon stick swizzle. For a Quickie Hot Lemonade: Squeeze the
of 1/2 to 1 lemon into a mug. Add boiling water; sweeten to taste with
sugar or syrup.
23. Add lemon wedges, cartwheel slices or twists to give cold drinks
24. A wedge of fresh lemon or squeeze of juice perks up bottled Bloody
Mary mix and canned diet sodas.
25. Twist a 2-inch strip of lemon peel before dropping it into your
favorite beverage. It releases the fragrant, flavorful lemon oils.
26. Garnish tall glasses of a chilled drink with a colorful Citrus
Kebab. Cut unpeeled lemon cartwheel slices into quarters; thread two
quarters onto wooden skewers with a maraschino cherry between them.
· Thread a long lemon zest twist onto a wooden skewer with an olive,
strawberry, cherry or cocktail onion.
· Cut off the end of a lemon that has been zested diagonally, as in
making a fluted cartwheel slice. Place on end of a wooden skewer; top
with a maraschino cherry or strawberry.
27. Citrus Berry Slush: In a blender, combine 1 cup fresh strawberry
purée (1 pint berries) with 1 pint vanilla ice cream, grated peel of 1
lemon, 1/2 cup each fresh lemon and orange juice, 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
and 1 cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Makes 4 cups.
28. Dress up a cup of hot tea with a lemon cartwheel slice studded with
whole cloves. Nice to float in punches, too.
29. Lemon Mint Hot Tea: Add 6 tea bags and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
mint or 2 teaspoons dried mint flakes to 6 cups boiling water; cover and
steep 5 minutes. Strain and return to pan. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup
fresh lemon juice; heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Serve with lemon
slices and fresh mint. Makes 6 cups. Or use packaged mint tea and add
lemon juice, sugar or sweetener, and fresh mint sprigs.
30. Dried Lemon Slices: Cut lemon crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
Leave any seeds in place. Discard ends. Place on wire rack in baking
sheet. Dry in 170-degree oven 4 hours. Remove; leave on rack to air dry.
Include in potpourri or use for holiday decorations. You can do as many
lemons as will fit on the wire rack.
31. To dry slices in the microwave, place them on a double thickness of
paper towels on a glass plate. Microwave at medium-low (30 percent
power) 3 minutes; rotate dish; microwave 3 minutes longer. Turn slices
over, microwave at 30 percent power 3 more minutes (based on 850-watt
microwave; if higher wattage, use 20 percent power). Lemons will not be
completely dry; place on wire rack to air dry.
32. To use Dried Lemon Slices as decorations, with needle and
double-thickness thread, form a 3-inch loop (for hanging) through one
edge of each slice. To glitter edges, squeeze a thin line of glue around
outer peel of each slice; sprinkle with glitter and let dry. Slices have
a beautiful stained-glass look.
33. Floating Lemon Shell Lights: Cut lemon in half crosswise. Carefully
ream out juice; scrape shells clean with a spoon. Place a small votive
or tea candle in each shell, and carefully set in a pretty bowl filled
with water. Light candles.
34. Make Lemon Stars: With a sharp knife, make sawtooth cuts evenly
around middle of lemon, cutting to the inside center of lemon only.
Twist and gently pull lemon apart to provide two star garnishes. Nice
for a fish, seafood or poultry platter.
35. Surround a large punch bowl with holiday greens, spring leaves or
ivy. Place Lemon Stars among the greenery. Add cinnamon stick bundles,
tied with festive ribbon, if desired.
36. Sugared Lemons for Centerpiece: Dip lemons in egg whites that have
been lightly whisked with a bit of water until foamy; cover completely,
shaking off any excess. Roll lemons in sugar to cover completely.
Carefully remove and dry on wax paper. Follow same procedure with lemon
or other green leaves, sprinkling with sugar on both sides over a wire
rack on wax paper. Let stand a few minutes. Re-sprinkle with sugar; dry
on wire rack. Decoration will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature
before sugar starts to crack.
37. Fill a copper tub, large pottery casserole or glass or wooden bowl
with lemons for a centerpiece.
38. Make Lemon Boats: Cut an unpeeled lemon in half lengthwise.
Carefully ream out juice and scrape shells clean with a spoon. To
prevent tipping, cut a thin slice off bottom of each shell, but don't
cut through bottom. Fill with ice cream, frozen yogurt, tartar sauce,
mayonnaise, relishes or dressings to serve with fish, appetizers or
39. Cartwheel Twists: Make one cut from the center of an unpeeled
cartwheel slice through the outer peel. Twist ends in opposite
directions, standing the cartwheel gently. Use plain or decorate with
40. Lemon Cucumbers: Make a thin slice from one side of an unpeeled
lemon to prevent tipping. Make 12 to 16 vertical cuts, three-quarters of
the way through the lemon. Insert half-slices of unpeeled cucumber or
zucchini into cuts. Use as a garnish for large serving platters.
41. Fluted Cartwheel Slices: Use a citrus zester or citrus peeler. Hold
the stem and blossom ends of unpeeled fruit between your thumb and
middle finger. Pull zester through the peel from end to end, leaving
about 1/4 inch between cuts. Cut cartwheel slices of desired thickness.
Perk up flavors
42. Add grated zest of 1 fresh lemon to packaged lemon pudding and pie
43. Glaze cakes or other baked goods with 1 cup powdered sugar mixed
with the grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon. Drizzle over top of *cake*,
rolls, cupcakes or muffins while warm.
44. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to any fruit pie or cobbler to
enhance the natural taste of the fruit.
45. Add fresh lemon juice to meat loaf, stew, steaks, or to seafood or
vegetable *soup* to perk up the flavor.
46. Make Banana Popsicles: Cut bananas in half crosswise. Insert ice
cream sticks into cut ends. Roll in fresh lemon juice to prevent
darkening. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze.
47. A bit of grated lemon zest adds lively flavor to low-fat yogurt or
sour cream for topping fresh fruits. To keep fresh apples, bananas,
peaches, etc. from darkening, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice. Add lemon
peel, chopped parsley, fresh basil or chives to low-fat plain yogurt or
sour cream to garnish soups and broths.
48. If you are out of cream of tartar, substitute 1 teaspoon lemon juice
in a three-egg meringue to help stabilize egg whites.
49. Rub fresh lemon juice on poultry or fish to reduce unpleasant
50. For scorch stains, apply strained lemon juice and rinse (be sure
fabric is colorfast).
51. Use fresh lemon juice in rinse water to help remove unpleasant odors
and soap film from oven and refrigerator interiors.
52. Remove odors of fish, onion or household bleach from hands by
rubbing hands with a wedge of lemon.
53. Use lemon halves as elbow "cups" and beautify rough skin. Dilute
lemon juice with water for an after-shampoo rinse.
54. Clean copper with lemon juice. Rub the item with a paste of juice
and salt; rinse well with clear water; dry with a clean, soft cloth.
55. Clean piano keys and other ivory objects: Rub with half a lemon,
rinse well and dry.
56. Add a spiral of lemon peel to harsh cleaning solutions to give a
fresh scent as you clean.
57. Boil fresh lemon juice or sliced lemons and water in an aluminum
utensil or tea kettle to remove discoloration. Or clean with a cloth
dipped in lemon juice; rinse in warm water.
58. To renew glass' sparkle and brightness, rub glass with cut lemon, or
soak in lemon juice and water. Rinse well; dry with lint-free cloth.
This is especially good for glass decanters and coffee pots.
59. Use a little lemon peel in a fireplace for a nice fragrance when the
fire is lighted.
60. To remove odors from cutting boards, bleach occasionally, rubbing
with half a lemon. Rinse well and dry.
61. Add grated lemon zest and juice to bottled barbecue sauces for
62. Include lemon with any lamb dish -- it's a natural flavor
63. Blend fresh lemon juice, dry mustard and freshly ground black pepper
as a spicy hot sauce for lean cuts of beef and pork.
64. Gremolata adds zest to meat dishes: Combine 2 tablespoons finely
chopped parsley, grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 large minced garlic clove.
Refrigerate covered until used. Sprinkle over osso buco, beef or lamb
stew or any hearty meat dish. Makes 2 1/2 tablespoons.
65. Add lemon juice to the cooking water for pasta or rice, especially
if you want to avoid salt. Cook pasta al dente (firm to the tooth).
Helps keep rice white, too.
66. For macaroni or vegetable salad, make Lemony Mayonnaise Dressing.
Combine 1/2 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise or salad dressing, 2
tablespoons sweet pickle juice, 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard, grated
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed. Makes 2/3
67. For Lemon Herb Rice: Bring 2 cups water to a boil with 2 tablespoons
butter or margarine, grated zest of l lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2
teaspoon garlic salt. Stir in 1 cup uncooked regular rice. Reduce heat,
cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons
each: sliced green onions and chopped parsley; and 1 tablespoon of your
favorite fresh herb. Makes 3 1/2 cups.
68. For easy roast chicken, pierce a whole lemon all over with a fork.
Place the lemon in the chicken cavity along with a few sprigs of fresh
rosemary or thyme; squeeze extra lemon juice over the bird before
69. Serve Lemon Roasted Chicken, sliced or shredded, in warmed tortillas
with avocado and *tomato* slices, black or refried beans, shredded lettuce
and bottled or fresh salsa.
70. When coating chicken parts with cracker or bread crumbs, dip chicken
in fresh lemon juice instead of melted butter or beaten egg. Bake as
71. Add freshly grated lemon zest and a few squeezes of lemon juice to
chicken or turkey salads or casseroles.
72. When boiling chicken parts in seasoned water, add a dash of fresh
lemon juice. It seasons the chicken and perks up the stock.
73. For Three-Spice Chicken Salad: Combine 1/4 cup salad oil; grated
zest of 1/2 lemon; juice of 1 lemon; 1 tablespoon honey; 1/4 teaspoon
each: ground ginger and curry powder; and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder.
Stir in 1
1/2 cups each: cubed, cooked chicken and grapes; and 1/2 cup sliced
celery. Toss lightly. Serve on lettuce with extra lemon wedges. Makes 4
74. Combine 1/2 cup ketchup; 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest; 2 teaspoons
each: fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire and prepared mustard; and a dash
of onion powder. Use to baste barbecued chicken.
75. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice to turkey *soup* stock or ground
turkey before making turkey meat loaf or meatballs.
76. Lemon Brandy Glaze is delicious over roast turkey. Melt 1/8 cup
butter or margarine; add slivered zest and juice of 1 lemon and 2
tablespoons honey. Simmer 5 minutes. Spoon over turkey. Heat 2
tablespoons brandy in large ladle; carefully ignite and spoon over
77. For a delicious turkey accompaniment, combine 2 (16-ounce) cans
whole-berry cranberry sauce; 1 cup orange marmalade; grated zest and
juice of 1 lemon; and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toast them, if desired).
Chill. Makes 4 cups.
78. For Citrus Chutney Glaze for Cornish hens: Combine grated zest and
juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 1/4 cup bottled mango chutney and 1
tablespoon margarine. Brush Cornish hen with glaze, and roast as usual.
Cover wings and legs with foil if they become too brown.
79. For a fresh, lively flavor, substitute fresh lemon juice for an
equal amount of vinegar when making salad dressings.
80. Lemon Herb Vinegar: Place a long spiral of lemon zest and a sprig of
fresh dill, basil, rosemary or tarragon in an 8- to 10-ounce bottle.
Fill with white wine vinegar. Cover; refrigerate two days to blend
flavors. Makes a great small gift.
81. Confetti Fruit Salad: Combine bite-size pieces of 3 peeled oranges
and 1 unpeeled apple with 1/2 cup sliced celery, 1/4 cup raisins, 2
tablespoons brown sugar and grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon. Chill.
To serve, stir in 2 tablespoons chopped nuts. Makes 4 cups.
82. Seasoned Snack Mix: Sauté 1 cup whole almonds and 1 tablespoon
instant minced onion in 3 tablespoons butter or margarine until lightly
toasted. Add grated zest of 1 lemon; 1 tablespoon dried, crushed parsley
leaves; and 1/2 teaspoon each: seasoned salt and garlic salt (or
powder); mix well. Add 4 cups assorted bite-size cereals such as
Shredded Wheat or Corn Chex. Heat, stirring, until well coated. Cool.
Makes 5 cups.
83. Spiced Oranges: Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup fresh orange
juice, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 20 whole cloves
and 1 stick cinnamon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
Pour over 2 peeled oranges that have been cut into half-cartwheel
slices. Chill. Makes 4 servings.
84. For delicious hot dogs or hamburgers, combine 3/4 cup sweet pickle
relish; 3 tablespoons each: prepared mustard and finely chopped onion;
and grated zest of 1/2 lemon. Makes enough relish for 6 to 8 hot dogs or
85. Sprinkle grated zest of 1 lemon over 4 cups packaged tortilla chips
before topping with salsa, grated cheese and sliced green onion. Heat
under broiler just to melt cheese. Makes 4 servings.
86. For Greek Lemon *Soup*: Combine 3 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth, 1 cup
water, 1/3 cup uncooked regular rice; cook covered over medium-low heat
15 minutes or until rice is tender. Combine grated zest and juice of 1/2
lemon with 2 eggs; beat well. Gradually add 2 cups hot broth mixture,
beating constantly. Stir back into remaining broth mixture. Heat; do not
boil. Garnish with lemon slices. Makes 6 cups.
87. Lemon Marinated Mushrooms are an all-time favorite appetizer, also
good with salads and steaks. Combine 1 pound thickly sliced mushrooms,
3/4 cup salad oil, grated zest of 1/2 lemon, juice of 1 lemon, and 1
teaspoon each: dried crushed oregano leaves and garlic powder. Marinate
in refrigerator several hours. Serve with toothpicks. Makes 4 cups.
88. Hummus Bi Tahini: In blender or food processor, combine 1 (16-ounce)
can drained garbanzo beans (chickpeas), 1/2 cup reserved liquid from
garbanzo beans, grated peel and juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup toasted sesame
seeds, 1 large garlic clove (quartered) and 1/4 teaspoon salt; blend
well. Cover and chill. Serve with crackers, pita bread or toast
triangles. For an easy hummus: Add the juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
to a can of prepared hummus with 1 tablespoon garlic oil. Blend well and
chill. Add more lemon and oil to taste.
89. Creamy Horseradish Dip complements seafood or vegetables. Combine 1
cup low-fat sour cream, grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon
each: prepared horseradish and chopped green onion, and salt to taste.
Makes 1 cup.
90. Fill cherry *tomato* shells, celery or miniature cream puffs with Tuna
and Lemon Filling: Combine 1 (6-ounce) can tuna (drained and flaked)
with 1 (3-ounce) package softened cream cheese, grated peel and juice of
1/2 lemon, 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese and 1/4 cup chopped green onion.
Makes 1 1/4 cups.
91. Classic Lemony Vegetable Sauce: Combine 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
(reduced-calorie, nonfat, regular or roasted garlic) with the juice of
1/2 lemon and a dash of cayenne. Use with artichokes and asparagus.
92. Keep white vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes and turnips
white while cooking by adding fresh lemon juice to the water.
93. Season cooked fresh corn by rubbing the ears with a wedge of lemon.
Butter and salt corn if you like, but it's delicious either way.
94. Add grated lemon zest to vegetable sauces such as hollandaise,
bearnaise or Mornay made from packaged mixes.
95. Topping for baked potatoes: Combine 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt with
grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
or green onion, and 1 medium garlic clove (minced). Chill.
96. For lemon rings, cut unpeeled lemon into cartwheel slices. With
knife or fingers, remove the meat from lemon, leaving the peel intact.
Use as napkin rings or to encircle small bunches of cooked green beans,
broccoli or asparagus.
97. Spicy Lemon Carrots: Cook 1 pound sliced carrots in 1 cup water and
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves, covered, until tender; drain. (Can cook in
microwave in 1/4 cup water 6 minutes on high.) Add 2 tablespoons
reduced-calorie margarine, 1 tablespoon honey, and grated zest and juice
of 1/2 lemon. Heat, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 servings.
98. Poach or sauté fish, fresh vegetables, chicken, and lean chops or
medallions of meat in lemon juice instead of oil. The fresh lemon adds
flavor without fat. Add a bit of water if the flavor is too intense.
99. Keep soft cookies soft by adding a slice of lemon to the cookie jar.
100. For extra zip in sugar or butter cookies, add the grated zest of 1
lemon to the dough, or sprinkle with lemon sugar before baking.
101. To oven-steam fish in foil, squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish,
drizzle with oil, wrap securely in foil and bake at 450 degrees 10 to 12
minutes per inch of thickness of fish. Easy, and no pans to clean.
Re: 101 Things to do with Lemons
"Becca" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> While looking for a recipe in the archives, I found a message that I
> posted in 1999. That was 10 years ago, but it is still a pretty good
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
> 101 Things To Do With Lemons
> By ANN CRISWELL
> Copyright 1999 Houston Chronicle Food Editor
> Here are 101 ideas and tips on making the most of lemons:
Thanks some good ideas there.
Re: 101 Things to do with Lemons
In article <[email protected]>,
Becca <[email protected]> wrote:
> While looking for a recipe in the archives, I found a message that I
> posted in 1999. That was 10 years ago, but it is still a pretty good
Oh, bless you. I've got some lemons that want eating.
Electricians do it in three phases