Lemon, with its bright and zesty flavor, is a versatile fruit that can transform any dish with a burst of refreshing goodness. Whether you’re aiming to tantalize taste buds or infuse a subtle citrusy note, lemons are your culinary best friend. We’re sharing a collection of sweet and savory lemon recipes and our favorite tips for cooking and baking with this tart and tangy fruit.
5 Tips for Cooking with Lemon
- Zest it up – When it comes to cooking with lemons, don’t forget about the zest! The outer layer of the lemon holds a treasure trove of concentrated citrus flavor. Use a fine grater or a zester to extract the zest. Just be cautious not to grate too deeply, as the bitter white pith can alter the flavor.
- The juice is loose – Fresh lemon juice is the heart and soul of many savory and sweet dishes. To extract the most juice, roll the lemon on the counter before cutting, or zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up. A citrus reamer or juicer will help you extract every last drop.
- Marinate for maximum flavor – Lemon juice acts as a natural tenderizer due to its acidity. Marinating meats or vegetables in lemon juice not only imparts a delightful tang but also ensures a succulent, mouthwatering result. Aim for at least 30 minutes, but overnight marination works wonders for achieving deeper flavor.
- Balancing act – Lemons harmonize beautifully with a wide array of savory ingredients. Think garlic, herbs like rosemary or thyme, and rich olive oil. The acidity of lemon can cut through the richness of creamy sauces, creating a perfectly balanced dish.
- Embrace the char – Grilling and lemons are a match made in flavor heaven. The smoky char from the grill, combined with the citrusy kick of lemon, creates a harmonious flavor profile. Brushing lemon juice over vegetables or meats just before grilling imparts a tantalizing tang.
5 Tips for Baking with Lemon
- Zesty zing in baking – When it comes to baking, lemons are the unsung heroes. Their bright, citrusy notes elevate cakes, cookies, and pastries to a whole new level. Lemon zest can be your secret weapon, infusing an aromatic and tangy essence into your baked goods.
- Balancing acidity and sweetness – Baking with lemon requires a delicate balance between the acidity of the fruit and the sweetness of your recipe. Be mindful of the quantity of lemon juice you use, as it can affect the overall texture and rise of your baked goods. Always adjust sugar levels accordingly.
- Lemon curd – Lemon curd, a luscious spread made from lemon juice, sugar, butter, and eggs, is a staple in lemon-centric desserts. The key to achieving a velvety, smooth curd lies in slow and steady heat. Whisking constantly prevents the eggs from curdling and results in a silky texture.
- Rising agent and flavor enhancer – Lemon juice can be used as a natural rising agent, particularly in recipes that use baking soda. When combined with an alkaline ingredient like baking soda, the acidity of the lemon juice creates a chemical reaction, causing the mixture to rise.
- Glazes and frostings – Lemon-infused glazes and frostings add a burst of flavor to your cakes and pastries. A simple combination of lemon juice and powdered sugar creates a zesty glaze that can be drizzled over warm baked goods for an extra punch of flavor.
5 Sweet Lemon Recipes
- Glazed Lemon Drop Cookies | Barefeet in the Kitchen – These bite-sized cookies are covered in deliciously-sweet glaze. They’re so good, you’ll want to share them with everyone you know!
- No-Churn Lemon Ice Cream | It’s Not Complicated – This lemon ice cream is hands down the perfect summertime treat. And you don’t need an ice cream maker or a lot of time to achieve a creamy result.
- Lemon Bars with Olive Oil and Sea Salt | NYT Cooking – Think of these as an elevated lemon bar. A sprinkle of sea salt and a touch of quality olive oil helps to elevate the flavor and add some personality.
- Warm Lemon Pudding Cakes | Once Upon a Chef – Tart, springy cake covers a layer of mouthwatering lemon pudding. To make them feel complete, top them off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and some fresh blueberries.
- One Bowl Lemon Brownies | Sweet and Savory Meals – Who says brownies have to be chocolate to be delicious? Lemon is the star here, with lemon zest, lemon juice, and a lemon glaze.
5 Savory Lemon Recipes
- Honey Lemon Chicken | Salt and Lavender – This lemon chicken recipe is as simple as can be, with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen. Pan fried, it’s savory, sweet, and tangy, all at the same time.
- Greek Lemon Rice Recipe | Creme de la Crumb – A few simple ingredients come together to make a super delicious rice dish. Enjoy it on its own or as a side to your favorite meal.
- Garlicky Lemon Shrimp | Sweet Savory and Steph – With just one pan, you can whip up a seafood dish that is full of flavor. It’s a recipe you can pull together on a weeknight or keep in your arsenal when you want to impress your guests.
- Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Parmesan | Food and Wine – This recipe has some truly fantastic flavors. Even if you’re not a big fan of broccoli, you may change your mind once you give it a try.
- Creamy Lemon Pasta with Crunchy Breadcrumbs | Fig and Olive Platter – Pasta lovers, rejoice! Totally simple to make and topped with crispy breadcrumbs, it is the complete comfort meal.
You’re well on your way to making each dish a culinary masterpiece with these sweet and savory lemon recipes. From marinating meats to creating delectable desserts, this citrus superstar never fails to impress. So don’t be shy—let lemons brighten up your next kitchen adventure!
This post contains affiliate links.
If you enjoyed this list of sweet and savory lemon recipes, please share it on Pinterest!
And if you’re looking for more tasty recipes, please follow our Food board!