Seasonal Recipe Spotlight: Meyer Lemons

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Oh, Meyer lemons - taken for granted by Californians, dropped casually into recipes by authors and chefs accustomed to this citrus treat - yet searched for hopefully and usually without success by the rest of us. With the exception of California and a few major cities, Meyer lemons are just not widely available in grocery stores.

That's too bad, as Meyer lemons are wonderful to cook with. They are probably a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, and they have a smooth skin and sweeter flavor than a regular lemon. Baking with their zest brings out a whole range of delicate flavors not found in regular Eureka lemons.

So, what to do with Meyer lemons - if you are so fortunate as to find them?

Well, first of all, you can try our recipe for Preserved Meyer Lemons with Cardamom. They go well with chicken, and this recipe for Roasted Meyer Lemon Chicken with Savoy Cabbage, Chanterelles and Yukon Golds looks delicious, as does Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons and Green Olives. This Meyer Lemon Risotto with Basil sounds heavenly right now.

For dessert, it's easy - Meyer lemons go well in many things. I love these Individual Walnut Cakes with Meyer lemon zest; it complements the walnuts beautifully. You could also try a Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake, or Suzanne Goin's Meyer Lemon Tart with a Layer of Chocolate. Given the cold weather, maybe you should also try Hot Lemonade with Rum.

All you Californians - what do you like to do with Meyer lemons?

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.