Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SPRING IS 'MEYER LEMON' TIME ~ THE SIDECAR / LEMONY SPRING SALAD with ROASTED CHICKPEAS

" It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health. "

~ Maud Grieve
( A Modern Herbal - 1931)

~ Meyer lemon
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Gardening and cooking note: The Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) is a citrus fruit, native to China, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 as S.P.I. #23028, by the agricultural explorer Frank Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China. It is commonly grown in China potted as an ornamental plant. It became popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs, such as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, during the California Cuisine revolution. The Meyer lemon is also known as the Valley lemon in southern Texas due to its popularity in the Rio Grande Valley region. (Wikipedia)
Incorporate this treat whenever lemons are called for ... craving the distinct flavor from season to season.
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THE SIDECAR
Delightfully tasty and refreshing cocktail to 'herald' the advent of spring (compliments of MeyerLemons.info )

Juice from 1/2 of a Meyer Lemon
2 1/2 oz of Cointreau
3 1/2 oz of Brandy
Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake and pour into 2 Martini glasses. If too sweet, add more brandy or use 1/4 of more lemon.


LEMONY SPRING SALAD with ROASTED CHICKPEAS
~ With or without seasonal Meyer lemons, a family favorite all year long (simply substitute regular lemons)
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4-6 cups cleaned, torn and chilled Romaine lettuce
4 healthy handfuls of Spring greens
1 (16-19 oz.) can chick peas
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt & cracked pepper
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped black olives
2 large cans, drained and halved, artichoke hearts
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 2 Meyer lemons
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Rinse, drain, and pat dry chick peas. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and roast in oven for 50 minutes or until crisp and browned, turning several times while cooking.
  • Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients in blender and process until will blended.
  • Combine romaine and spring greens in large salad bowl with feta and black olives. Toss gently with dressing (use as needed to lightly dress).
  • Place dressed salad greens on chilled plates. Arrange artichoke hearts over top. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and roasted chickpeas. (8 healthy salads)

4 comments:

Marie said...

Great post and beautiful lemon photos :)

Di said...

I'll have to try this. Beautiful photography as ever.

Desiree of plantgurus said...

Yumm...sounds refreshing. Are these your own recipes? And your images are always a treat!

joey said...

Thanks Marie. I lust over Meyer lemons and wait patiently each season. The grocer (who knows I'm weird about my produce and wants credit) laughed and helped me choose these lemons (with leaves) to photograph :)

Thanks Di ... read above post to Marie on my choice of lemons. They are not easy to find but, if you do, please try them ... you won't be disappointed. Actually, I love them best in a glass of ice water.

Yes indeed, Desiree, these are my recipes (often tweeked from original). I have a 40 year horde of magazines and hundreds of cookbooks that I treasure. This salad was served on Easter and the Mint Lamb on Holy Saturday (whitefish on Good Friday)
As an avid seasonal cook and gardener for thousands of years ... herbs (and flowers) are a favorite.