Easy French Food and Recipes

Lemon Recipes

Popular lemon recipes in France include desserts such as lemon tart or lemon sorbet, but you will also find lemons showcased in savory dishes. Lemon juice is used in marinades, vinaigrettes, and sauces.

Lemons in France

Fete du Citron - Menton, France
Although most of its lemons are imported from Spain, the U.S. and Greece, France does grow some lemons, mostly on the Cote d'Azur, where it is warmer. In Menton it is honored every year at Carnaval time with a special celebration. La Fête du Citron features incredibly elaborate floats and figures made from lemons and other citrus fruits.

In France, the lime is also considered a lemon and is called a green lemon (citron vert). Lime can substitute for lemon in many French lemon recipes, and is especially appreciated in marinades and cocktails.

You will also find a fruit called a cédrat that looks like a big, bumpy lemon. The juice of this fruit is considered too sour to cook with but the rind is candied and used in cakes and pastries. Cédrat is also used to make a liquor called Cédratine.

Lemon Facts and Tips

  • Choosing lemons: When choosing lemons look for heavy fruits with a fine grained peel and a good smell. They will keep several weeks in the refrigerator, but verify that none of them are turning bad as the mold will quickly spread to the others.
  • Zesting: If you are going to use a lemon for its zest, try to buy fruits that have not been treated with pesticides or coated with wax. In any case, wash the lemons well with warm water and pat dry before zesting.

    Lemon zest refers to just the outer rind of a lemon and not the white part which is bitter. To properly zest a lemon you need a good tool. The Microplane Zester is one of the best ways to get perfect lemon zest everytime, and you can use it to grate cheese and other foods as well. You can also learn some other methods for how to zest a lemon here.

  • Juicing: Of course we all know there is more then one way to juice a lemon. You might like to make a small investment in an electric citrus juicer wich can save time and effort.

    Another way to juice a lemon is with a citrus reamer. This is a classic kitchen tool that allows you to quickly juice a lemon without a lot of fuss or equipment. Perfect for when you just want to add the juice of a lemon to your pot without measuring.

    Here is a little trick you might like to try. To get the most juice out of a lemon warm it in the microwave for two seconds before squeezing. It also helps to roll the lemon with a bit of hand pressure on the counter top.

  • Anti-oxydant: Lemon juice keeps fruits and vegetables from oxidizing and turning brown. Try it on avocados, pears, apples and bananas.
  • Nutritional Facts: Very low in calories and a good source of vitamin C. However, it should be eaten quickly after cutting as the Vitamin C evaporates rapidly. Also contains calcium, iron and potassium.
  • Cooking: A sprinkle of lemon juice adds flavor to many different dishes: marinades, sauces, salads and of course fish and seafood. Use it as a substitute for vinegar in vinagrette recipes. Popular French lemon recipes include lemon sherbet or sorbet which makes a light, refreshing end to a heavy meal.

Lemon Recipes on Easy French Food

Lemon Tart Lemon Tart Recipe

Here is a delicious and easy lemon tart recipe. You can make lemon tart with your favorite pie crust or use a store bought one if you are pressed for time. Just make sure you make it ahead of time so it has enough time to chill.

Preserved Lemons Moroccan Chicken Recipe

Testament to the North African influence in France, preserved lemons find their way into French cooking and eating, such as in this Moroccan chicken recipe. The fruit is preserved in salt brine bringing out a whole new taste and texture in the lemon.

crockpot Crockpot Lemon Chicken Recipe

This crockpot lemon chicken recipe is a wonderful way to showcase the tart flavor of lemons. It is wonderfully quick to make and features the fresh taste of tarragon as well.

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