Slow-Roasted Whole Lemons 5.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Jan 6, 2020

Slow-roasting whole lemons requires nothing more than a pinch of salt, a shallot, a heavy-lidded pot and a bit of water. Roasting whole citrus takes a long time, but is a largely hands-off process. Use thin-skinned citrus for best results. The roasted lemons make a great condiment for cheese boards and add a burst of flavor to sauces.

Storage Notes: Store the roasted citrus and syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


Servings:
5

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 5 servings; makes 5 roasted lemons

Ingredients
  • 5 small, thin-skinned lemons, preferably Meyer (about 1 pound), scrubbed, cut almost in half across middle, remove exposed seeds
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

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Directions

Place the oven rack in the middle position; and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Put the lemons, shallot, water and salt in a Dutch oven or any ovenproof, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. Cover the pot, place in the oven and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, check on the lemons every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring gently to coat the lemons with the liquid. If the lemons begin to brown, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees to prevent scorching.

Watch for lemons to begin to collapse, and for the liquid in the pot to take on a golden hue and thicken slightly. The shallot will melt into the liquid.

Remove the pot from the oven when the lemon pith is completely translucent and the juices have turned syrupy and caramel-brown. Using tongs, grab a piece of lemon and use the softened fruit to mop the sides of the pot, loosening any bits. Drop that lemon back into the pot with the others.

Remove the lemons and the accumulated liquid from the heat and let cool completely. Serve as a condiment, or use in lemon-flavored dishes.

Recipe note: The size of the lemons, the thickness of the pith, the heaviness of the pot, even swings in oven temperature, all affect the cooking time. Sometimes the lemons may need additional roasting beyond the suggested 1 1/2 hours for the pith to turn completely translucent.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Nimble Cook,” by Ronna Welsh (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), founder of Purple Kale Kitchenworks.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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