The culinary use of lemons is often limited to garnishes, desserts or liqueurs. But this citrus fruit can do so much more than simply flavour water and liquor and it was eating and cooking in Ravello, Italy that taught me this. The Amalfi Coast isn’t just home to beaches, sun and sand; this area is an agricultural region that produces lemons for the Italian and European markets. Everywhere you turn you’ll see the image and presence of the mighty lemon, but this isn’t just any type of lemon, this is the limone sfusato: a type of lemon that is grown only on the Amalfi Coast that boasts a size and flavour that is unrivalled the world over.
To highlight the crown jewel of agriculture in this region, and to celebrate summer on the Amalfi Coast, Tavola will be posting a week’s worth of recipes featuring lemons under the title of “A Week in Ravello”. This recipe is one of the seven included in this series. These recipes were created using ingredients picked from the gardens, bought from the markets and pulled off the fishing boats by the beautiful people who work and live year-round in this region. If you have an opportunity to try these recipes don’t hesitate to use lemons that you can find at your local markets wherever you are in the world. But if you find that one day you can make the trip to the Amalfi Coast, be sure to try these recipes out using the real limone sfusato.
- 6 cups of ice
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 cups water
- juice of 6 lemons
Bring the water, sugar and lemon juice to a light boil in a saucepan or a small pot and then reduce to a simmer. Whisk as the liquid heats until it is reduced to approximately two cups of syrup. Set aside in the fridge to cool for an hour or two.
When ready to serve, fill a blender to the top with ice (approximately 6 cups) and add in the lemon syrup. Blend quickly mixing the syrup into the ice; the ice should still be somewhat chunky and the syrup mixed throughout. Serve in a chilled wine glass or tumbler with a lemon to garnish. Add some fresh berries or diced fruit to it to make another Italian summer favourite: grattachecca.
Buon appetito! Good eating to you…
Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions about this recipe below.