Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Roasted Lemon Chutney
You all know how prolific my lemon tree is this year and I'm on a constant hunt for ways to use fresh lemons. My good friend Linda suggested I try this Roasted Lemon Chutney recipe she found on the website, 101 Cookbooks. It just so happens I have the cookbook that contains this recipe! The book is All About Roasting by Molly Stevens and it is wonderful! I have one of Molly's other books, All About Braising, that lives on my counter top during the fall and winter. It's one of my favorite cookbooks. So I thought I'd give this recipe a try. A bit unusual, but it is delicious!
Roasted Lemon Chutney
Adapted from All About Roasting
1/4 cup (1 oz) finely chopped shallots
3 small lemons, washed, and preferably organic; but if not, wash them in warm soapy water to remove any waxy residue.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped bail or mint
Heat oven to 400F with a rack in the center. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Soak the shallots in a small bowl of cold water to reduce their strength a bit.
Set one of the lemons aside to use later. Slice about 1/4 inch off both ends of the remaining lemons and discard. This part is mostly pith which can make the chutney too bitter. Slice the lemon into 1/2 inch rounds and use the tip of a knife to remove any seeds. Arrange the lemons on the baking sheet and brush with a bit of olive oil. Turn and coat the second side with oil.
Roast the lemons, turning every 10 minutes, until they are very tender with just a few spots of brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Don't let the lemons crisp and keep and eye on the bottoms, which tend to brown before the tops. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Transfer the lemons to a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. If there are any juices (not burned or blackened) on the baking sheet, add these. But there may not be any. Drain the shallots, shaking off any excess water, and add to the food processor. Add the honey and pulse several times until the lemons are coarsely chopped.
Add the juice from 1/2 the remaining lemon and the 1/4 cup olive oil. Continue pulsing until the chutney is fairly smooth and creamy, with just a few lemon chunks. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and more lemon juice or honey to taste.
Taste and correct seasonings until it tastes really great to you. Transfer to a small bowl and let sit for at least two hours to meld flavors. Just before serving, stir in the mint or basil, making any final tweaks, and serve at room temperature.
Heidi Swanson of the 101 Cookbooks blog suggests these ways to use the chutney: "A dollop stirred into brown rice, chopped sautéed spinach, topped with a fried or poached egg with a touch of soy sauce"; oe inside a savory crepe. One of my ideas is to toss it with hot, cooked pasta with lots of fresh herbs and tiny, halved cherry tomatoes. Another way I've used it is to spread it on a piece of toasted ciabatta bread, topped with a sunny-side up egg. But probably my favorite way to use this chutney is to stir a little into that Linguine with Tuna and Lemon dish I blogged about a few months ago. It ups the Yummi factor in this dish tenfold! Although this recipe is, as I said, a bit unusual, if you are a lover of lemons, I guarantee you'll like this :)