7 Ways to Cook with Meyer Lemons

rissotorissotoI remember having Meyer lemons for the first time. It was a few years ago at Mario Batali's restaurant, Carnevino, at the Palazzo hotel in Las Vegas. I had ordered the Scallopine…tender veal cutlets sauteed with caper berries and preserved Meyer lemons. It was out of this world. Since then I've planted a little Meyer lemon tree in my backyard and have been anxiously awaiting for it's first fruit. It hasn't happened yet.

Now, if you don't know what a Meyer lemon is or have never had one, it's basically a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or common orange (according to Wikipedia). Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than true lemons and less acidic in taste. You'll start to see them sold in stores in the winter, their peak season being between November and January, sometimes even a little later.

If you have Meyer lemons on hand and are at a loss of what to do with them, look no further. There are so many ways to incorporate their distinct taste into so many everyday dishes…from lemon risotto to pancakes to creamy cheesecake. Brighten up your cold winter days with these 7 ways to cook with Meyer lemons:

Related: 7 light, refreshing meals made with citrus

1. Lemon Risotto
Use Meyer lemons to add a hint of citrus to this creamy, comforting risotto.

Ingredients:

2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup vermouth or white wine
the zest of 3 lemons
the juice of 1 lemons
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat all rice)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly chopped Italian parsley to garnish

Directions:

1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Preheat a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and add onions, garlic and rice. Stir and add additional olive oil until every grain of rice is completely coated. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the rice start to turn translucent.

2. Add vermouth or white wine and stir. Let the wine be absorbed. Add 1 ladle of warm chicken stock and stir until all liquid is absorbed. Stir well and let it sit over a very slow simmer until the liquid is absorbed, and then add another ladle of liquid and stir again. Continue this process until all the liquid is absorbed.

3. When rice is done, it should be al-dente, add cheese and stir well to melt and mix in. Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix well. Serve immediately garnished with freshly chopped Italian parsley.

Related: 10 recipes everyone should know how to make

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2. Meyer Lemon Almond Cake
The sweet taste of Meyer lemons and almonds make this cake irresistible.
Make Meyer lemon almond cake

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3. Meyer Lemon Mojito
A refreshing twist on mojitos!
Make Meyer lemon mojitos

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4. Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Light and airy ricotta pancakes with a hint of Meyer lemons would brighten up anyone's day.
Make Meyer lemon ricotta pancakes

Related: Cooking with fruit - 12 decadent cherry recipes

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5. Panko Breaded Tilapia with Meyer Lemon Relish
A great light and bright dinner.
Make panko breaded tilapia with Meyer Lemon relish

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6. Mini Meyer Lemon Bundt Cakes
How cute are these little cakes?
Make mini Meyer lemon bundt cakes

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7. Fresh Berry Green Salad with Pomegranate Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing
Love the freshness of Jeanette's salad.
Make salad with Meyer lemon dressing

For 5 more ways to cook with Meyer lemons, visit Babble

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