Adapting Jamie Oliver’s Baked Lemons with Mozzarella

published Feb 6, 2007
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Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook and television show bring us Jamie’s Italy. Jamie crosses Italy to find homecooks and sends their recipes on to us. Jamie’s trip reminds us that flexibility and simplicity are at the heart of cooking at home.

If you want to serve stuffed lemons today, but don’t have anchovy filets, how about some olive paste instead? Basil leaves bring freshness and color, but parsley or arugula might do in a pinch.

Kitchen readers, are you up for checking out Jamie’s baked lemon recipe from the Amalfi coast and help me adapt it? Throw out some suggestions and I’ll post our revised recipe next week.

Here’s some techniques and substitutions I’ve been experimenting with:

I’ve been using dried aleppo pepper as a gentler, fruity alternate for the chilies. A pinch of red pepper flakes could work too. I tried parsley for the basil since it is more available in grocery stores, but it did not provide much punch. Many we could try some red onion? A reader suggested last week that Trader Joe’s is a good source for organic lemons.

Jamie tells us to use a baking sheet, but I made my lemon wheels in a muffin tin. That keeps more of the delicious juices — like a slightly salted lemon herbal tea with milk — inside the lemon and makes for a less messy clean up.

Let us know if you have advice on the fastest way to remove the lemon pulp. The acidic juice drips all over and can burn the hands a bit, so you might want to wear gloves as you trim the lemon.