During winter I am always hungry for risotto and in the best case I would like to have it fruity to remind me of summer. The problem is, it is cold and grey outside and you cannot just get the nice summerly taste in winter times. My mum found a solution for this issue: salty lemons.

Buy the lemons in their main time during summer, when they got a lot of sun and are really nice and juicy and then you can make them durable for the cold and dark days of the year. The principle is very simple, the difficult part is to find the best possible lemons. Last year I was very lucky and got lemons from Sicily. You need the lemons to be ecological, hence they are not sprayed, because the shell is also eatable in that case and otherwise you would get all these chemicals in your food. When you overcame this obstacle you need a bottling jar, which has roughly the volume of your lemons and some coarse salt

Prepare your workstation with a table spoon, salt and then start some music and get started.

  1. Cut a cross in the first lemon. you need to cut through the middle but not all the way through the fruit. it should still be one piece.
  2. Fill one or two table spoons of salt in the cuts and press the lemon together. If the lemons are nice, mellow and juicy you will have juice running all over your hands. Try to get a lot of salt in the fruit and then press it again a little bit and put it in your jar.
  3. The same way you do it with every lemon. I try to catch as much ch probiere immer möglichst viel Saft im Glas aufzufangen oder auf dem Brettchen und diesen nachher ins Glas zu füllen.
  4. Squeeze at many lemons in the glas as possible.  The less air in the glas remains the better. Suqeeze the lemons close to each other. Perhaps you need to fill up the glas with some lemon juice, perhaps not. All lemons need to be covered with juice and kind of swim in liquid. Otherwise it could happen that they get mouldy.
  5. When you are done with the lemons you can think about a special ingredient. Maybe chili or a branch of rosmarin, as I did if. Then close the glass and store it at a coldplace, I used the fridge.
  6. Two days later checkon the lemons. The lemons should incorporate the water and lose their shape. The volume should be decreased. When there is a lemon not covered in juice, pull some extra juice on them. Don't be cheap with that. Better use a little too much here then getting mould.  Then you need to throw everythign out and cannot prepare great Risotto.

The lemons are already done for cooking. The longer you keep them in the glass, the smoother they get. Then the skin gets very squashy and it is easy to eat them.
For Risotto I don't use as much white wine as normally, because the lemons already add a lot of acid to the dish. But I have to add, I love acid food, especially lemons. I eat them pure.
Hence, be careful with my mass here and taste in between! I take half of a lemon and cut it very small. Then just add them to the Risotto as you would normally do it with mushrooms or similar things. On top of the lemon I add a few table spoons of the water. The water is very salty and very tasty. Here I should mention maybe to not use as much salt as you normally would beforehand. 🙂

Other dishes I use the lemons for is salad, as a nice topping and when I fry pasta wiht veggies in a colourful pan of whatever I have at home. Comment what do you use them for? I would love to hear some new ideas!

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