When an uncurled fern frond first peaks through the soil in the spring, it is called a "fiddlehead". Fiddlehead ferns offer an earthy, nutty flavor that has been likened to the taste of asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms.
Hairy eggplant may be eaten raw by themselves or cooked in dishes to add a touch of piquant sweet and sourness -
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Lemon leaves grow alternately along the branches of lemon trees. The leaves are ovate, oblong and fine toothed, coming to a point on the non-stem end. Lemon leaves have a glossy finish on the topside and matte on their underside. Young leaves are actually red and as they mature turn to a deep green. Lemon leaves are aromatic and slightly oily.
Lemon leaves are available year-round.
The true lemon, Citrus limon is known as limone, limón, limón agria, limón real, or limón francés. It is a member of the family, Rutaceae. A lemon tree can reach up to 20 feet in height. Its branches are thorny, a natural defense mechanism, which makes harvesting the lemon leaves a challenge. Lemon leaves are utilized in many cultures throughout the world, though their commercial market is still minor and clearly secondary to the lemon tree's true commodity: fruit.
Lemon leaves are not just for decoration. They can be used for their aromatics, which are their singular non-decorative culinary attribute. The lemon leaves can be blanched and used to infuse teas, wrap seafood or meat and roasted, steamed or grilled. The lemon leaves and branches are also used as aromatic kindle for outdoor grilling.
The lemon tree's origins are traced back to northern India, where lemon trees are still found growing wild. Lemons were transported to and eventually cultivated in Africa, Europe and the New World. Lemons are known to tolerate drought and poor soil, though they are cold sensitive and require some rainfall for continuous growth. They grow most prolifically in Mediterraneanesque climates. Lemon trees that undergo stress and poor soil conditions will produce far less yields and consequently the leaves of the trees will also lack the quality desired for culinary use.
Recipes that include Lemon Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Saveur||Grilled Chicken with Lemon Leaves|
|Fx Cuisine||Sicilian Lemon Leaf Meatballs|
|Taste||Prawns Wrapped in Lemon Leaves|
|The Independent||Mozzarella Grilled Between Lemon Leaves|