I love to roast a whole thing. Come late winter (I know we’ve had it mild, but still) I’m ready to stick the entirety of something in the oven, crank up the heat, and let it go until it’s reduced to a bubbling, golden, caramelized dream.
It’s a comfort and without much slicing and dicing, it’s deeply easy.
Consider the whole roasted onions. Bathe in the cheddar beer sauce with a whole roasted cauliflower. Definitely buy several heads and roasted your garlic. Maybe roast your potatoes in salt instead of foil. All good ideas, really truly.
Next up in this litany of roasty things is the mighty Meyer lemon.
I’ll leave this gem of a recipe from The Washington Post here for you today and later this week I’ll show you how to incorporate these dreamy lemons into a chicken soup. Back to back good ideas – thank you for being here for it.
In a heavy-bottom pot with a lid (I used a small Dutch oven though any oven-safe pot will do) place almost-halved Meyer lemons, sliced shallots, a bit of water and an even smaller bit of salt. The shallots virtually dissolve as the lemons roast but lend a hint of a savory bend to these lemons. If you’re interested in using these roasted lemons for sweet purposes, I would trade the shallots for one split vanilla bean. Whoa!
The key is to use thin-skinned lemons – Meyers are my favorite because the skin to pitch ratio works in our favor. Meyer lemons also have a natural sweetness that comes through flesh to skin. They roast beautifully into soft and caramelized inside and out.
We’ll use these whole roasted lemons in a chicken soup later this week. Using the whole lemon to flavor our soup, rather than just the juice, adds a real depth and comfort to the soup. It feels like health and wealth.
More soon, but let’s get roasting!
Photos with Jon Melendez.Print
- 5–7 thin-skinned Meyer lemons, (about 1 pound depending on the size), scrubbed, cut almost in half across middle, exposed seeds removed
- 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the oven rack in the middle position; and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the halved lemons, shallot, water and salt in a Dutch oven or any heavy-bottom ovenproof pot with a lid. Cover the pot, place in the oven and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes total (see note below).
- After the first 30 minutes, check on the lemons about every 20 minutes, stirring gently to coat the lemons with the liquid. If the lemons begin to brown, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees to prevent scorching.
- The lemons will begin to collapse, and the liquid in the pot will take on a golden hue and thicken slightly. The shallot will melt into the liquid.
- Remove the pot from the oven when the lemon pith is broken down and translucent and the juices have turned syrupy and just caramel-brown.
- Remove the lemons and the accumulated liquid from the heat and let cool completely. Serve as a condiment, or use in roasted chicken or chicken soup recipes.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Recipe note: The size of the lemons, the thickness of the pith, the heaviness of the pot, even swings in oven temperature, all affect the cooking time. Sometimes the lemons may need additional roasting beyond the suggested 1 1/2 hours for the pith to turn completely translucent.
Recipe from The Washington Post