Give thanks to Christopher Columbus for bringing lemon seeds to America!
There’s a saying in Sicily that lemons are not real lemons unless they’re Sicilian, which I am quite certain that the folks from the Amalfi Coast would strongly disagree.
Sicilian lemons thrive in the sun-drenched Mediterranean climate and are prized for their fragrant perfume.
Although, nine out of ten lemons in Italy come from Sicily, it is the lemons of Amalfi that are prized for the famous Italian liquor, Limoncello.
Luckily for us in the states lemons are available just about all year long (for tips on using lemons, see Lemon-Aid).
So when life gives me lemons I get out the zester and start cooking. This is the time of year, you will always find bowls of limone (lemons) on my kitchen counter. There they sit, like little “works of art,” with their intoxicating fragrance that makes me smile every time I smell their sweet scent.
Just looking at this “sunshine” in a bowl conjures up visions of endless possibilities. So, for the month of June it is all about this versatile little fruit. I will share my tart and tantalizing, sweet and (almost) sinful, luscious lemon recipes. I have been craving my grandmother’s simple and light Sesame Lemon Biscotti (perfect with a cup of coffee or tea), which I will post first. Soon after will be (not in any particular order) :
Lemon Souffle, Lemon Spaghetti, Limonata, Polpette con Limone (meatballs with lemon), Lemon Curd, Chilled Zucchini Lemon Soup, Preserved Lemons, Sugared Lemon Slices, Limoncello Tiramisu, Arugula Lemon Butter, Mascarpone Lemon Cream Sauce, Scorzette Candite (candied lemon peel), Mini Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, Pesce alla Milanese (lemon-marinated fish), Fricassea di Funghi (mushrooms in lemon sauce) … just to name a few.
Lemons, like salt, really bring out the flavors of other ingredients. We will use the zest, the fruit and the peel (everything but the seeds). Sauces, sweet desserts and savory dishes all become fresher when they’ve been kissed by a lemon.