Friday, March 5, 2021


We are almost out of Meyer lemons. We've had a bumper crop this year. Luckily the local food bank will take the ones we haven't squeezed into juice, sliced for iced tea, added to pasta with parmesan, garlic, and butter, or stuffed inside the cavity of chickens. Abundance.

I use my clippers to take down the last bagful of lemons. Sometimes I have to cut a branch in order to reach inside the tree for a lemon hanging in the center. I try not to get caught by one of the sharp inch-long thorns that protect the citrus. Bittersweet, just like roses.

Once inside our house, the smell of fresh lemons lingers. But soon the refrigerator and all the cool places inside our house are filled with lemons. I give away bags to neighbors and friends, cut the lemons in half, juice them, and pour the juice into ice cube trays. I zest the skin and freeze batches. I clean wooden cutting boards with salt and half a lemon and drop the rinds down the garbage disposal. I scour the internet and my recipe books for recipes that use lemons in savory dishes. Desserts with lemons fill both the internet and cookbooks. But few recipes use large quantities of lemons, especially in savory dishes. Abundance.

I've found a few good recipes:

Meyer Lemon Brisket with Pomegranate Gremolata (from Martha Stewart)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 3-1/2 to 4 lb. first cut brisket

Coarse salt and ground pepper

3 Meyer Lemons

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

For the Gremolata:

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped chives

2 tsp. finely grated Meyer lemon zest

2 garlic cloves, minced

Sea Salt

For the brisket: Mash the minced garlic and a pinch of salt until a paste forms. Season brisket with 1 Tbsp of salt and ground pepper and rub with salt paste. (Save remaining paste.) Transfer to a baking dish. Refrigerate, covered, for two hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Finely zest and juice 2 lemons. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear brisket until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Pour lemon juice over brisket and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the meat (2-3 cups). Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

Braise brisket, covered in an oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Flip brisket, add remaining garlic paste and continue braising until brisket is easily shredded with a fork, about 1 hour. Stir in reserved zest. Braise, uncovered, for 10 minutes more. Remove brisket and bring sauce to a boil until desired consistency.

Make the gremolata: Toss together pomegranate seeds, parsley, chives, lemon zest, and garlic. Season with sea salt.

Slice brisket. Serve with pan juices and gremolata along with Lemon-Rosemary Melting Potatoes

Lemon-Rosemary Melting Potatoes (from Eating Well)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, and sliced 1-inch thick

2 Tbsp butter, melted

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp sliced garlic

Toss potatoes, butter, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in a 9 by 13 metal baking pan. (Don't use a glass pan. It may shatter.) Roast, turning once until browned, about 30 minutes.

Carefully add broth, lemon juice, and garlic to the pan. Continue roasting until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are very tender, 10 to 12 minutes more. Garnish with additional rosemary.

When I use a recipe, I usually make so many additions or changes that the recipe becomes my own. These two from Martha Stewart and Eating Well are just perfect the way they are. When you add a dark green vegetable to your plate, you will have a good meal and enough left over for sandwiches the next day.

If you are searching for more lemon recipes, go to Heritage Cook. Jane Evans Bonacci, a cookbook author and recipe developer, offers many recipes with lemons. Her recipes include gluten-free options. If you like chocolate, be sure to check out her Chocolate Mondays. Subscribe to her blog here:


I am thrilled to have two of my paintings in online exhibits. One of my watercolors has been accepted in the California Watercolor Association's Member Show online through March 31. Take a look at some wonderful watercolors. 

EVIE by Martha Slavin

Another online exhibit includes my acrylic painting, TIME INTERRUPTED. Check it out here:


  1. I love to have a slice of Meyer lemon in hot water to have a rest from caffeine. Chris uses it to make Meyer lemon marmalade which is the closest he can get to the unavailable (even in the UK now) Coopers Vintage Oxford Marmalade which he likes to have on his morning toast. Our American house guests always find it a bit too bitter but we love it. There is nothing like a slice of toast and marmalade to comfort one.

  2. Thanks, Pat, for a small view into your life. The slice of lemon in hot water reminded me of my grandmother who did the same (she sometimes had tea with lemon instead). I never liked marmalade as a kid, but I've grown to enjoy the sweet/tart taste.

  3. From Jane Bonacci on FB: You are too kind Martha, thank you for the shout out! How lucky to have so many lemons - I love the fresh scent and flavor in so many ways!!

    1. You are welcome, Jane. I hope people will visit your website.

  4. From Terri on FB: The brisket sounds delicious...think it’s a must try! Anything with lemon is.

  5. Loved Rae Ann Williams Harvest IV in CWA listings. And thanks for the recipes. Have you made limoncello? That's my favorite!

  6. Tena, there are some remarkable pieces in the CWA show. And yes, I've made limoncello. It's easy and sooo good.


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