Back to the Kitchen: Lemons, Lemons and more Lemons!

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How lucky I am to have a friend with a lemon tree and grateful I am to be able to play with my food. We got lots of great reviews on last week’s lemon recipes so I decided to quickly write part 2! I have been playing with lemon recipes ever since my friend handed me two grocery brown bags filled with lemons — and off I went making pesto, cheesecake,  lemon squares, chicken, fish and  soup! While in San Francisco last week my friend Lisa handed me a Meyer lemon and asked me to make a dipping sauce for artichokes. I came up with a quick lemon aioli! Great on grilled vegetables and on sandwiches! If you don’t have a friend with a lemon tree don’t forget I hope these recipes inspire you and when you are finished put your feet up on the porch and sip what else? When Life Gives Lemons Simple Lemonade!

Lemon Dill Pesto

1 bunch dill

2 cloves garlic

1/2-cup walnuts

1/2 cup Romano Cheese

1/2-cup olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Make about 1 cup.

Quick Lemon Aioli

4 cloves garlic

Zest of one lemon zest

Juice from 2 lemons (about ½ cup

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1-cup olive oil

In the bowl of a small food processor or in a tall bowl using an emulsions blender mix together the eggs, garlic, mustard, lemon and zest. Stream in the olive oil and add more lemon if needed. Season with salt and pepper!

Greek Lemon Soup

8 cups chicken broth

1/2-cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 cup cooked orzo

1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced

16 slices lemon

8 egg yolks

Salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, carrots, onions and celery. Bring to a boil on high on high and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through. Add the orzo and chicken. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

3-4 pounds chicken parts (thighs and legs recommended), skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat

2 Tablespoons lemon zest

1/3 cup lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbsp fresh-chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1 teaspoons salt

1-teaspoon black pepper

2-3 Tbsp melted butter

Lemon slices for garnish

Place lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, whisk to combine. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut into each chicken piece one or two times by about 1/2 an inch. (This will help the marinade penetrate.) Place the chicken pieces and the marinade in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Rotate the bag so that all chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (in case of leakage). Let marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a single layer in a large baking dish, skin side up. Reserve the marinade. Use a pastry brush to brush a little melted butter on to each piece of chicken.

Bake for a total of 55 minutes, until the skins are crispy brown, and the chicken is cooked through, juices running clear. Let rest, covered in foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Squares


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2-cup confectioners’ sugar

6 ounces (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


6 large eggs

3 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

1/2-cup all-purpose flour

About 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Combine the flour and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until mixed. Add the butter and continue to mix until the butter is the size of small peas, about 30 seconds. The mixture will be very dry. Gently press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, zest and then the flour. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Bake until the lemon filling is set, about 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then put in the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting. Cut into squares measuring about 2 1/4 inches and dust the tops with the confectioners’ sugar.

Lemon Cheesecake With Ginger Crust


2 cups finely ground gingersnap crumbs

1 teaspoon minced gingerroot

6 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

Grind gingersnap crumbs, gingerroot, butter and sugar in food processor until mixed. Press crumbs evenly in bottom and part way up sides of lightly greased 9-inch spring form pan, set on baking sheet and line with greased circle of parchment paper or foil.

Bake at 350 degrees on center rack about 10 minutes. Cool completely on rack.


1-cup sugar

Zest of 2 large lemons, about 2 tablespoons

4 eggs separated

8 oz packages cream cheese at room temperature

3/4-cup sour cream

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons flour

1/2-teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4-teaspoon salt

Process sugar with zest in food processor until finely minced. Approximately 30 seconds. Add egg yolks and process until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese. Pulse to break up, then process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and flour, vanilla and salt. Pulse until mixed.

Beat egg whites until they hold their shape but are still moist. Stir 1/4 of egg whites into cheese mixture. Pour mixture into egg whites; use rubber spatula to fold in the whites. Pour over cooled crust.

Bake at 225 degrees until edges are puffy and only center is slightly jiggly, about 1-1/2 hours. Turn off oven leave cake in oven 45 minutes.


1-cup sour cream

1-tablespoon sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla

Lemon slices and fresh mint, for garnish

Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla and gently spread over warm cake. Leave cake in turned off oven 5 more minutes. Refrigerate overnight or up to two days.

Cooking note: Make this a couple of days ahead of time. The cheesecake tastes better and it frees you up to do all the other things you need to do for your event!

Lemon Rosemary Pound cake

I have the biggest rosemary bush at my house. I am constantly creating dishes to take advantage of this. I love lemon pound cake with poppy seeds and once when I was out I added rosemary. People are always requesting it.

1-cup butter

2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped

3 teaspoons lemon zest

4 eggs

1-cup sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-teaspoon baking powder

1/4-teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with bakers joy. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, zest, and rosemary and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time then add vanilla. On low speed add flour baking powder and salt until just blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.

When Life Give you Lemons Simple Lemonade

1-cup sugar (or more to taste)

1-cup hot water

3 cups fresh lemon juice

1-gallon cold water

1 lemon, sliced

In a 1-gallon container, place sugar and hot water, and stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and cold water to render 1 gallon. Stir until well mixed. Pour lemonade over glasses of ice, squeeze slice of lemon on top of each .It is also super great mixed with fresh brewed ice tea!

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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