There is something so gratifying when an ingredient can serve more than one purpose. When getting more than one use out of an ingredient it certainly plays into the “reduce-reuse-recycle” side of me and feels like I'm getting more bang for my buck.
In the case of the Meyer lemon, the rind is so tender, and because the white pith is not bitter like other citrus the entire lemon can be eaten. Meyer lemons are certainly not growing locally here in the Midwest, but during the winter months, I like to experiment with more unusual ingredients. This week, I purchased a bag of Meyer lemons (grown in U.S.) and put them to use:
I peeled all of the lemons with a dandy citrus peeler making it a cinch to remove the peels. Then I juiced all of the naked lemons using a juicer.
I used the lemon juice and some of the peel in a few dishes this week including a shrimp risotto that was outta this world (sorry no picture, we devoured it too quickly) and a delicious Hazelnut Topping on steamed broccoli (just a mixture of chopped hazelnuts, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and shaved Parmesan).
Some of the peel was placed in the freezer to use in future recipes that call for lemon zest. And the rest of the peel I made Candied Meyer Lemon Peel (recipe below).
The lemon infused simple syrup that remained after making the candied peel was poured over fresh blackberries, served with a dollop of mascarpone, and garnished with the candied lemon peel.
The only part of the lemons left unused was a bit of pulp and lemon seeds which I dumped into my compost bin. Who knows…maybe a Meyer lemon tree will start growing from it. Hey, a girl can dream can't she!
Candied Meyer Lemon Peel
In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water until sugar is dissolved and simmers to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add slivers of Meyer lemon peel. Let stand and steep for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle granulated sugar on a plate. Take peels out of syrup and working in batches, toss a few of the lemon peels into the sugar to coat. Allow to completely dry then store in a container for up to two weeks.