The lemons I used in this recipe are courtesy of my very generous neighbors. The branches of their tree were drooping because of the abundance of this yellow fruit. I asked if I could have some and they told me to help myself. Yay!!! Hurrah for great neighbors and growing your own food!
The Meyer lemon is a hybrid of a true lemon and a common orange. They are significantly bigger and juicier than a true lemon - in fact, I thought at first that my neighbor's tree was an orange tree. I did a bit of reading and found out that it was primarily a decorative houseplant in China. (Just like the calamansi here - Americans don't eat it. They just let them hang on trees.) Since Martha Stewart started using Meyer in her recipes, there was a spike in sales and more people are propagating this type of lemon.
|size comparison - real lemon (above) and Meyer lemons|
What you need:
3 Meyer lemons
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots
2/3 cup white wine (I used Riesling)
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup chopped dried dates
salt and freshly ground black pepper
What to do:
Trim the ends of the lemon and discard. Cut into 1/8-inch rounds, picking out seeds as you go. Cut the rounds into quarters so they're about 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.
|So maybe a wooden chopping board is not ideal when cutting lemons...|
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until very soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine, lower heat and simmer until reduced by about a third.
|shallot vs Vidalia onion|
Add sliced lemons, sugar, and dates. Simmer until wine is completely reduced. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and stir in the mint leaves. Serve with your favorite meat.
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Use any kind of sweet wine, if available. If not available, use cooking wine.
2. Garnish with more mint before serving, if desired.
3. Serve with meat, or with bread as a spread.
4. Don't like lemon rind? Peel lemons before cutting.