The lemon has gotten a raw deal over the years. Even the name, slang for “loser” or “simpleton” in the early 1900s, developed into a catch-all for anything bad, defective, or otherwise undesirable. In billiards, a lemon game meant a hustle or a scam. In the U.K., being “handed a lemon” usually meant getting stuck with a busted-up automobile. Maybe it’s time to change all that.
As much as we love a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day, that’s not the only thing the tangy yellow fruit is good for. In fact, it comes in handy both in and out of the kitchen. Here are three of our favorite ways to embrace the lemon this summer.
Protect the Fish
Usually the last step before diving into a piece of grilled salmon is sprinkling on a little lemon juice, but that’s also a great place to start. Slice some lemons into flat discs and lay them down right on the cooking grid, and you’ve got a perfect non-stick surface for grilling your salmon, swordfish, or whatever seafood your heart desires.
Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh
Spritzing half a lemon onto a freshly sliced avocado, apple, or even a banana will keep your produce from turning brown in a hurry—even more useful if you’re trying to save some for later. Then, slice up the second lemon half into wedges and garnish a cocktail or two.
Get a Little Salty
Make lemon seasoning for a tasty ingredient to add to summer seafood, either before or after grilling. Lay out some lemon zest with sea salt and a pinch of lime on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for two hours. Store it in a sealed jar and sprinkle on to taste for a tangy kick with your favorite dishes.