Our lemon tree is finally ready with ripe fruit. I quickly grabbed the best of the best, as if someone could come up behind me and snatch them away. I’m really thankful that we have any at all. I know this isn’t a very big harvest because I’ve seen how loaded lemon trees can get. I think it may have to do with it being neglected for so long..? So this spring I plan to mulch (the pear tree too) and learn how to prune.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect because I just used the last of the bucket of lemons for juice and what not. Now I get to do even more things with lemons. Yippee! So, what to do.. what to do. All I can come up with is to do more salt. I’ve made citrus salts in the past and it always gets a thumbs up from the hubby. Oh yeah, I can also do a lemon dressing with the olive oil we just made! So let’s get started, shall we?
We’ll be using three lemons. Yeah, just three. They need to be washed and dried.
The first two recipes, the salts, will be super quick and easy. Take the zest from two of the lemons and let’s get started on the first one.
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup coarse salt
Mince the zest. You can chop it up into teeny bits by hand, or take the easy way out like I do and grind up the zest in a coffee grinder. (I like taking the fast way out. :))
Mix with 1/2 cup coarse salt and let sit out for about 20 minutes before storing it. This helps the zest dry out* a bit.
Zest the third lemon and chop (or grind) it. Set aside 1 teaspoon of the zest for the vinaigrette. (recipe below) Now let’s put together our next super-delectable salt.
3/4 cup coarse salt
zest 1 lemon (less 1 teaspoon)
6 teaspoons thyme
4 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add everything together and mix well. Like the first salt, let it sit out a bit to “dry off”.
Both are terrific on fish or chicken, and grilled veggies too. The reason why they’re made in small batches is they should be used within 2 weeks*. These two (basic) salts will become a staple in your home for sure.
And now for the grand finale. The remaining bit of lemon zest, as well as the juice from all three lemons, can now go right into your favorite bottle or jar for storing the next recipe.
Add everything to the bottle and shake. That’s it! Keep refrigerated, but let it sit out for about 10 minutes prior to serving.
So there ya go… the fab three. Thank you lemon tree!
*Tip: If you want to keep your salts around longer then do this: 1) lay down parchment paper on a baking sheet, 2) spread out the salt(s) somewhat and 3) bake on the lowest temperature in your oven for 30 minutes or until the lemon is completely dried out. Now your salts will keep for two months instead of two weeks. Cool!