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Take Meyer lemons beyond cookies

Lemon with potatoes? When it's a Meyer lemon, the answer is yes. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)
Recipe: Brighten potatoes with zesty additions

My little Meyer lemon tree this year has produced just seven gorgeous fruits, so I'm doing my best to honor each one.

I'm done making cookies for awhile, however, so I went looking for other ways to use the Meyer's sweet floral zest and juice. I ran across a potato recipe from Bobby Flay that has no butter and just a bit of crème fraîche; a Meyer lemon and some fresh herbs provide the oomph.

This is a delicious side dish recipe, particularly wonderful with firm fish such as salmon. My change was to skip peeling the potatoes, which have thin skins anyway. If you can't find crème fraîche, use drained plain yogurt or even sour cream. Change up the herbs, if desired, but don't leave out the parsley.

Meyers have thinner skins than Eureka lemons. A microplane zester gets the
peel off without digging into the white pith underneath.
Also, you could skip the vinaigrette altogether, since the basic flavors are in the potatoes, or use just half of it, saving the rest for a salad or to pour over your broiled chicken or fish.

Meyer lemon and herb potatoes
Adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay
Serves 4-6


For the potatoes:
2 pounds gold potatoes, such as Yukon gold, washed and diced
Kosher salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche, drained plain yogurt or sour cream
Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
Ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano


Put the diced potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt and bring pot to boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until fork-tender. (For me this was about 10 minutes, but it will depend on the size the potatoes were diced.)

The finished not-quite-mashed potatoes have the vinaigrette poured over the top.
While the potatoes cook, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl or glass measuring cup until combined. Slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and oregano; set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain well, then return them to the pan and put back over low heat, stirring a few times, to dry them well. Add the crème fraîche, lemon zest, parsley, oregano and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently crush with a potato masher until combined. If desired, at this point potatoes may be covered and kept in a warm oven for up to 30 minutes.

To serve, transfer to a warmed bowl and drizzle with some or all of the vinaigrette while still hot.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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