September arrived completely without warning, and therefore, though I had no intention of posting today, I'm in a sheer panic. I've got a backlog of summer recipes to share before the leaves turn and the malls start hanging tinsel. Halloween schlock? Everywhere. Step away from the fluorescent pumpkins.
I do have an admission, though. See the candied lemon zest up there? On the peaches? I made it on New Year's Day. I'm serious, too. If you don't believe me, look here. See the second to last paragraph, where I mentioned lemon scones...this was the zest I made for them. The recipe, from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, says: "The peel can be stored (in the syrup) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days."
I would like to announce, with neither embarrassment nor exaggeration, that this peel may be stored in the fridge for up to 8 months and 1 day. Maybe more.
Then you can roll it in sugar, dry it out, and keep it at room temperature for, well, maybe forever. It's like lemon jerky. It's fossilized citrus. It's petrified strips of crystallized joy.
And it's great on salads. Or scones. Or nibbling when under deadline but blogging about fluorescent pumpkins instead.
So glad I posted today. News this urgent couldn't have waited until tomorrow.
p.s. I drank too much caffeine.
Recipe for Mixed Greens with peaches, cucumbers, and candied lemon peel
The candied peel here is really just a garnish, but given that it lasts (almost) forever you might as well make some and store it in the fridge. If you skip it, you can still make the salad, which is just as bright and fresh on its own. I'm not providing quantities, mostly to encourage you to tailor the ingredients to your liking.
Fresh peaches, sliced
Candied lemon peel, see below*
Whisk together a bit of honey, some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in the bottom of a salad bowl. Add some torn mixed greens, cucumbers, and fresh peach slices. Toss to coat. Sprinkle, if desired, with candied lemon peel and additional cracked black pepper.
*Recipe for Candied Lemon Peel
Adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008).
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
Wash and dry lemons. Peel off large strips of lemon rind, leaving the white pith behind. (Remove any stubborn pith with a small, sharp knife and discard.) Place peel in a heavy saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Boil and strain 3 separate times, adding fresh water each time.
Place blanched peel back in pot and cover with 4 cups fresh water, the sugar, and the corn syrup. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the peel becomes translucent. Cool completely. Cut the peel into thin strips, and store, in the syrup, in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (Might I suggest a glass canning jar with a rubber seal? It really made my peel last forever.)
When ready to use, roll the peel in granulated sugar and dry on a rack. Then you can store this again, airtight, but this time on the counter, for slightly less than forever.