|Does it not look like magic? Because it is. Completely.|
Wait until you try it, really. You're going to think: The whole lemon? Really? Where's the part where I remove the pitch and those membraney things? But you never do. I don't really understand why it's not bitter, but it's not: just perfectly sweet-and-sour, and so good just the way it is--as a sauce or dip--or else you can stir a little into a dish that needs brightening. I used leftovers in a chickpea salad this week, and it was totally fantastic. I have also mixed it fifty-fifty with mayo or sour cream to make a more dairyish dip, and that's good too.
I'm so happy to be posting this, because it's been on my list of things to tell you for over a year, but other recipes kept barging ahead, demanding to be written about. But here it is, now, which is all that really matters.
On an unrelated note: Did you want to know how old Ben is? I'll tell you. Ben's so old that we had to go out and buy him a protractor. Seriously. My baby! A protractor! I got a little weepy about that, which is not the most ridiculous thing I've ever wept about, but nor is it the least. I think I once cried because Birdy could just take a bite of an apple instead of needing me to sliver it into tiny unchokeable shards. My baby! Ah, life.
Savory Lemon Jam
Makes about 1 cup
Total time: 10 minutes
This is a recipe that I adapted from a book I checked out of the library, The Improvisational Cook, by Sally Schneider, and that she adapted from somebody else, I don't remember who…m. She makes it with oregano, which is not an herb I'm all that crazy about, so I make it with marjoram, which is an herb I would marry. (Why I won't marry Catherine Newman: the marjoram story.) I think it would be good with other herbs instead: lemon thyme is a kind of redundantly obvious choice, and I bet it would be great, or else basil or tarragon… or no herbs at all, which makes for a jam that tastes so fresh and lemony you'd put it on toast. Not that you wouldn't put this jam on toast too, but you might put this slightly savory, herb-flecked jam on toast that already had goat cheese on it, and then you'd die and go to heaven.
2 large lemons, preferably organic, scrubbed and dried
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves, chopped--or another herb, or skip the herb
Cut the ends off the lemons--just about til you hit the flesh--and discard. Now cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges, then remove the seeds and cut each wedge in half again crosswise. And then into 100 pieces widthwise, before dicing them sideways into millionths. (Do everything up until the last sentence.)
In a food processor, whir together the lemons, sugar, and salt, until chunkily pureed, then, with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to create a kind of thick, creamy, lumpy sauce. Add the herbs and pulse on and off until the sauce is flecked with green. Serve or chill.
|Two lemons and some stuff you had anyway. Right? You don't even need the marjoram.|
|Isn't that so pretty?|
|Abracadabra kadoozy-kadam, wickety-wackety. . .|
|Luckily, I'd already photographed Mr. Ben dipping some lightly steamed asparagus.|
|Is it just me, or can you see why this was an outtake?|