Since we do nearly all our produce shopping at the Greenmarkets, there's never any doubt what's in season around us. But the big clue in the supermarket is always the price, and right now must be high lime season somewhere in the world. They're as cheap as I've ever seen them.
Our little neighborhood market has them five for a dollar. In Chinatown over the weekend I thought that was a rip because I saw them six for a dollar. Then, just a market or two away, they were seven for a dollar. According to the notebook I put together on leaving restaurant school, calculating which month is best for each fruit and vegetable, this should be June.
I don't know why anyone else would buy them by the half-dozen, but I like a strong squeeze of lime in my iced tea (which I drink all year round); it adds sweet flavor with zero sweetness. Lime is also better than lemon squeezed over fish or in marinades. It makes a great curd, too, and the zest will transform shortbread. If you mix it with lemon you almost get a substitute for Meyer lemons and can make possets. But the bottoms-up best destination for it is a rum punch (one ounce juice mixed with one ounce water, one ounce simple syrup and two ounces good dark rum plus a few splashes of Angostura bitters, shaken with ice and dusted with freshly grated nutmeg).
Lime also goes with surprising flavors. Nancy Silverton's great "Desserts" has an outstanding recipe for lime cookies spiced with ground cloves. (Amazing to see what that book is going for these days: serious crates of limes.)
At debauched magazine party awash in margaritas many summers ago I learned the best way to get the most juice out of a lime, too: roll it around on the counter awhile before you get out your reamer (we found this one in Italy, and I love it as much as the word reamer). But when you're shopping for them, look for a thick skin if you want to zest them, and squeeze them to be sure they give a bit. Otherwise they'll be so dry they're no bargain at any price.
Lime- and Honey-Glazed Salmon with Basmati and Broccolini
Bon Appétit | October 2009
by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
All of the components of this healthful one-dish dinner are roasted in the same skillet: The rice goes in first, then the salmon and broccolini. And they're all flavored with a lime, honey, and cilantro sauce. If desired, serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lime peel
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large)
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice (9 to 10 ounces)
- 3 1/4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 4 5-to 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
- 1 bunch broccolini, bottom inch trimmed, stalks separated if necessary
Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk lime juice, lime peel, honey, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and soy sauce in small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in large deep ovenproof skillet or casserole (with lid) over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice, then 3 1/4 cups broth; bring to boil. Cover skillet tightly with lid; place in oven and bake 10 minutes (rice will be almost cooked through and most of broth will be absorbed; mix in more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry).
Remove skillet from oven. Sprinkle rice lightly with salt. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and arrange on rice, pressing in lightly. Tuck broccolini in around fish, with stems anchored in rice. Spoon 1 tablespoon lime mixture over each salmon fillet. Cover skillet tightly and return to oven; bake until salmon is just opaque in center and broccolini is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle remaining lime mixture over fish and rice; sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve from skillet.
By Regina Schrambling
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