With Spring finally, here it’s the perfect time to infuse all your dishes with citrus! As most of my cooking is Mediterranean based, I use citrus in most all my dishes. I think by know many of you have the handy lemon/lime citrus squeezer. If not, here is a link https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Citrus-Squeezer-Color/dp/B0002BFZ16.
Here’s a tip I learned working in restaurants, purchase a bag of lemons and process most of bag into a measuring cup and either store in a glass jar or squeeze bottle. This way you can easily make vinaigrettes, use in soups, deserts or top your favorite protein hassle free. Save a few for zesting. On that note, don’t ignore the zest! There is so much flavor in the rind, just a few teaspoons in a recipe can really amp up the flavor.
One other amazing item I can’t live without is olive oil infused with citrus. I even have one infused with blood orange! Once you start using these in your cooking, you will never look back. Check out this Bon Appetit link for more citrus tips https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/citrus-common-mistakes.
Below is a recipe for Toasted Lemon Breadcrumb Gremolata. It really adds that extra something and cuts through the heaviness when I use it to top my casseroles. *Note when used to top casseroles, I don’t toast them. I use the toasting method for topping salads, vegetables and proteins.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs *I use rosemary bread
- 1/4 cup panko
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a small skillet, either stainless steel or cast iron over medium-high heat.
- Once the pan is very hot, add the olive oil and immediately add the breadcrumbs.
- Toast the breadcrumbs while stirring continuously until the crumbs have turned golden brown and begin to get a little crunchy, about 5-6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool. The breadcrumbs will continue to crisp while cooling.
- Once the crumbs have cooled, add the Parmesan cheese, parsley and lemon zest.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside until ready to serve.
- Leftover Breadcrumb Gremolata will store nicely refrigerated in an air-tight container.