Meyer Lemon Tree (upper left) and Violas (lower right)
The Meyer lemons are sliced thin, the entire fruit is edible, including the thin, soft, smooth rind. The violas, also known as Johnny Jump-ups, add beauty and a lovely mild pea flavor.
The Meyer lemon is a citrus fruit, native to China, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer. (more from wikipedia here)
- 2 T. finely diced shallot
- 1/2 c. fruity olive oil
- 1/4 c. mimiccream (or heavy cream)
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper
Steep the shallot in lemon juice with 1/4 t. of salt. After 5 minutes whisk in olive oil. Then gently add cream. Add fresh ground pepper and more salt to taste. I found this delightful sauce recipe in Suzanne Goin's fabulous cookbook, Sunday Suppers At Lucques and her salad was the inspiration for the one we tested here. Of course, she uses heavy cream. I found the non-dairy, no-cholesterol (vegan) mimiccream to work quite well!
Assemble the Salad
- Belgium endive leaves
- Mixed baby lettuces
- Italian parsley
- Thinly-sliced Meyer lemon wheels, sans seeds
- Toasted pine nuts
- Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced lengthwise
- Johnny Jump-ups
- Shelled fava beans
Place 5 Belgium endive leaves on the plate in a star configuration. Toss mixed baby lettuces and chopped fresh parsley with Meyer lemon cream. Place a mound of the lettuces in the center of the plate. Arrange lemon slices between endive spears. Drizzle more Meyer lemon cream over the lemon wheels and endive. Top with olives, pine nuts, fava beans, and lastly a few pretty flowers.
As always, only serve home-grown plants and flowers that are sure to be edible.
where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook