In season late winter: Limes
Limes are the sharpest of the citrus fruits, with a zingy and refreshing taste. They are especially well suited to Asian and South American dishes but are equally lovely in drinks and desserts.
Look for unblemished firm limes that feel heavy. Heavy limes should have the most juice.
Limes should keep well for a couple of weeks in the fridge, or a week in the fruit bowl. To enjoy lime juice any time, pour juice into ice-cube trays. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic bag and keep handy in the freezer.
Like all citrus fruits, limes are best known for their vitamin C — perfect to boost immunity in winter.
To get the most juice, use limes at room temperature and first roll them back and forth and under the palm of your hand to loosen the fibres. For zest, use a fine grater and only grate the bright green skin. The white pith underneath is bitter.
- Add zing to winter-baked vegetables: sprinkle grated lime rind and a little juice over yams, with a dash of oil and brown sugar then bake.
- Try kokoda (or ceviche): the raw fish ‘cooks’ in the lime juice overnight. Then mix with light coconut cream, diced tomato, fresh coriander, finely chopped red onion and green chillies.
- Lime juice makes refreshing salsa (with tomatoes, mango or corn, red onion, red chillies and coriander), great with baked chicken or fish.
- Make a mocktail with a dash of lime syrup, plenty of lime juice and fresh mint in sparkling water.
- Add lime juice to a hearty chicken broth made with stock, chicken breast, cumin, coriander, oregano, fresh tomato and green capsicum.
- For dessert: make syrup with lime zest and juice, passion- fruit pulp and a little castor sugar and water. Great over thick Greek yoghurt in a meringue nest.
Did you know? English sailors got the nickname Limeys because lime juice was given to prevent scurvy.