Some prefer the flavor of lemons, and others are more drawn to the essence of limes.
While they have a similar profile of tangy flavor throughout, the taste of each has noticeable differences.
I utilize both lemons and limes in my home kitchen on pretty much a daily basis, incorporating them into salad dressings, salsas, marinades, over cooked meats and veggies or to cure fish in homemade ceviche. I also incorporate them into beverages.
When it comes to the choice between lemons and limes, it really just depends on the specific dish I’m preparing and what additional layer of flavor I’m looking to add.
It’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between lemons and limes at first glance, with some varieties more apparent than others. Yellow limes are not lemons, and green lemons are not limes, with both taking on those colorations depending on the variety and stage of maturity.
Generally, lemons tend to be slightly sweeter with about 2% sugar content, and limes a little more bitter averaging .5%-.75% sugar. I find they both have their own, very distinct aroma as well. This is the season when both lemons and limes are readily available.
Of all of the lime variety options out there, I find the absolute best is the Bearrs lime.
Also referred to as a Persian lime or Tahiti lime, they are large, incredibly juicy, seedless and very flavorful. This week I prepared a Bearrs lime-infused beet salad, with the sweet beets and tangy limes making a great pairing.
BEARRS LIME, BEET AND APPLE SALAD
2 Bearrs limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium beets, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 large pink lady apples, cut in small cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (or fresh cilantro)
1/4 cup raw pistachio kernels, or walnut pieces, or almond slivers
Salt and pepper to taste
Aged balsamic vinegar
Juice the 2 limes and set aside. In a sauté pan add olive oil and turn to medium-high heat. Sauté beets and carrots, tossing every few minutes. Cook until just soft.
Remove from heat and place the limes in a mixing bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then mix in apple, red onion, parsley, and nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss everything together. Finish with some aged balsamic vinegar. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.
You can also toss this mixture with lettuce greens, spinach, kale or arugula.
Yield: Serves 4 sides.