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It’s very neat the way lemons and tomatoes tag-team

basket of citrus

Sunlight in my basket.

Limes, lemons, mandarins, oranges.  So many of them that I am making salted limes for adding to summer soda water and salted lemons for that little salty sour-sweet note that lifts so many dishes out of the ordinary.  I’m making lime syrup for cordial, but not being a real sweet tooth, mostly for Asian style dipping sauce for things like rice paper rolls.   I’m making Indian style Lime Pickle for curries (and for cheese and crackers), and mostly for giving away.  I’m putting lemon and lime skins in cleaning vinegar to make lemon oil vinegar for cleaning – it’s my one-and-only cleaning product for floors and stove and shelves.  I’m making lime and ginger marmalade – I can’t believe I’ve never posted that recipe.

But mostly, we are just using them fresh and glorying in the abundance while it lasts.  This time of year tomatoes are scant.  The ones you will be getting in the supermarket will likely be artificially ripened, tasteless, coming from a long way away, and very expensive.  I still get a few cherry tomatoes hanging on in my frost free garden but mostly that cooking niche that needs a bit of sweet acidity is filled by citrus.  So whereas in summer my pasta sauces are mostly tomato based – things like pasta puttanesca –  this time of year they are lemon based – things like lemon caper parsley pasta sauce, or Lemon Feta Tortellini.  Whereas in summer I add tomatoes to beans, in winter I add lemon.  In summer, soups nearly always have tomatoes in them, in winter a squeeze of lemon juice.  Summer salads have tomatoes and feta, winter salads have leafy greens and a lemon dressing.

It’s very neat the way tomatoes and lemons tag-team it.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Zena June 2, 2016, 9:42 pm

    I would love to see that lemon lime cleaning recipe. I just put my oranges in a jar filled with vinegar. Do you do that?

  • Linda June 3, 2016, 7:01 am

    Cleaning vinegar, bottom shelf in my supermarket, is pretty well the only cleaning product I buy. Vinegar is easy to make. I really should get it together to make it but many shoulds don’t :). I just use ordinary glass jars, the pasta sauce size, filled with citrus peels, cover with vinegar and leave on the bottom shelf under the sink. I use a jarful in a bucket for floors and just top up with vinegar again and put them to the back so it takes a few months for them to cycle round again. A dozen jars jike this last me all year. I also put a couple of jars full of skins in metho for tough cleaning.

  • Zena June 6, 2016, 10:55 am

    Thanks Linda! The metho tip is new to me.

  • Tracey June 8, 2016, 11:25 am

    I’ve been thinking the same thing – tomatoes finish and then we’re blessed with citrus. Sadly the lemon tree at our new place needs some tlc so no fruit yet (flowers though!) but we have mandarins and beautiful pomegranates in abundance.

  • Linda June 8, 2016, 11:33 am

    Oooo pomegranates. Ours seem to be binennial, same year as mangoes. A good mango season tends to be a good pomegranate season too. But ours fruit in midsummer, same time as the mangoes. Are yours fruiting now? Do you know the variety?

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