If heaven is eating silky sunshine-like lemon curd on well, literally anything then purgatory is surely a dish absent of acid, or lemon at all. Truly, lemon has the power to make or break all recipes. Without it it's kaput; the only decision left to make is whether to scoff it down in an act that will only end in regret, or shamefully slop it into a bin and hope nobody is around to see.
Of course, there are other substitutes for lemon, lime comes to mind. But that is a thread we could follow for days and really all we're trying to do here is spotlight the potential of the humble lemon. Let's stay on track. Some of us may find ourselves all out of the citrus, all I can say to you is how very sad. Run to the store immediately. Others may find that they are graced with too many. This one goes out to you. Below, find 8 recipes we turn to when lemons are abundant and when we're craving that subtle zing.
Jarred gold. Reap the rewards of your past selves good decisions and batch up some jars of preserved lemon, it's a quick way to add acid to any meal and make it sing. Integrate it into dressings, salads, vegetables, protein...literally anything.
Tagliolini al limone
Simple is best, after all. For those evenings when you can hardly bare the thought of cooking but still want to serve up a delicious meal, author Emiko Davies has offered up her recipe for a flavourful but easy tagliolini al limone.
Lemon curd feels like this elusive sunshine coloured spread that only old people know how to make and only old people want to make, which I find insane, given how delicious it is and what little time it takes to make. It's as versatile as marmalade, but so much more joyful to consume. Slather on top of ricotta on freshly toasted bread, sandwich between two sponge cakes, or eat it by the spoonful out of the jar with your head in the fridge.
Democracy, beaches, theatre, lemons... we owe a lot to the Greeks. The invention of Avgolemono soup is simply another thing to add to the tally. It's there for us when winter begins to bite or when we're feeling rough around the edges, like a comforting hug Avgolemono is simple yet effective.
Sometimes you just need a drink and this recipe for limoncello is an easy way to make good of those sad yellow things softening in your fruit bowl. Bust it out as an aperitif before you lay down a delicious feast or simply enjoy chilled under the sun.
For those who prefer their sweets, well, less sweet then Frederik Bille Brahe's take on this Italian classic is the right balance of zingy, fresh and saccharine you've been searching for. Plus it's a great way to take advantage of the whole lemon.
Flour and Stone's Lemon Dream Cake
Give lemons the platform they deserve, that's six layers of curd, meringue and cake to be exact. Sydney bakery Flour and Stone's Lemon Dream Cake is a real show (and heart) stopper, perfect for entertaining.
Whole John Dory with Preserved Lemon Salsa
Everyone knows that the key to a great fish is citrus, and head chef Joel Bennetts from Bondi's Fish Shop knows how to deliver with this take on a whole John Dory, putting all of that preserved lemon you made to good use.
After more recipes? Here's a boozy list of gin cocktail recipes, or apple pie recipes for the sweet tooths among us, and for those seeking something much more steadying, here are some bread recipes to dive into.