My friend Susan brought me a treasure the other day – Meyer Lemons from her brother-in-laws tree in Florida. I love all lemons, but the Meyer is my favorite. Especially in January when the cold seems never ending when the bright color and taste seem to fend off winter blahs. Meyer’s have tender orange-y peels, wonderful floral aromas, and all the delicious flavor of a lemon without the puckery tang of regular lemons. In the early 1900’s Frank Meyer discovered the fruit – believed to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.

To celebrate Meyer Lemon season that runs from December to about April, here are 4 of my favorite ways to use them. Don’t have Meyer Lemons? These recipes work super with any lemon:

Winter Kale and Garlic
1 LB of Kale (1 prepackaged, chopped bag – if you can’t find the bag, strip the leaves from the center ribs and slice them into thin ribbons,)
1 TB Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Grated or Minced
1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Anchovy Paste*
½ Cup Light Chicken or Vegetable Broth
2 – 4 TB Lemon Juice
1 TB Grated Lemon Zest
Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Step One
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, pepper and anchovy paste for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Step Two
Add the kale, using tongs to stir it as it cooks. Add the broth and cover the pot. Turning the heat to low, allow the kale to steam for 5 – 7 minutes or until it is tender. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

*Yes, anchovy paste! I promise it won’t taste fishy when you finish. If you don’t have the paste, just chop 1 anchovy finely.

Light and Luscious Lemon Vinaigrette with Baby Greens
2 TB Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Zest of 1 Lemon
½ Tsp Dijon Mustard
½ Tsp Honey or Agave Syrup
¼ to ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper To Taste

Place all the ingredients in a jar and shake. Taste for salt and pepper. Toss with baby greens and serve.

Lemon Olive Oil
Make lemon olive oil by taking a cup of your favorite oil and heating it til just warm. Add the peel of 2 lemons to it, and let sit for an hour. Strain and place in a glass bottle. (Make sure to wash the outside of your lemons well, before peeling!)

Lemon Chicken Marinade
½ Cup Lemon Juice
2 TB Honey or Agave Syrup
2 TB Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, Grated
½ Cup Your Choice of Chopped Parsley, Thyme, Marjoram or Oregano or combination

10 – 15 minute dip in this marinade is all that is needed for a delicious lemony flavored entrée.

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