A recent article by Jennifer Kantor in Today Magazine listed “7 surprising household uses for limes.” It suggested drinking a glass of lukewarm water with lime juice in the morning, preserving cut flowers in lime juice, priming hair with it, etc. However, we believe that cooking with this fragrant citrus fruit that has such a short season in Israel is the best use for it.
Originating in Southeast Asia, it is not surprising that lime is a key ingredient in many Thai and Indian recipes. But not only there – where would Mexican cuisine be without it? Or the all-American key lime pie? Not to mention the cocktail bar.
Seedless and green, with a thin aromatic zest and gentle acidity, lime adds flavor to any dish. The Tekoa Farm’s experts, who grow and market limes, suggest choosing limes that feel heavy in the hand and have no signs of dryness or brown spots. Choose limes when dark green, not yellowish, for the best taste and maximum flavor.PAPAYA SALAD WITH CHILI AND LIME VINAIGRETTE
Match organic orange papayas, now in season, with fresh lime, ginger, chili and green black-eyed peas in an Asian-style salad. To get the vegetable “noodle,” use the Master-slicer or simply julienne them.
✔ 1 ripe orange papaya, peeled, seeds removed, julienned
✔ 1 ripe green papaya, peeled, seeds removed, julienned
✔ 2 cm. fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
✔ 1 red chili pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
✔ 2 cloves garlic, minced
✔ 1 shallot, chopped
✔ 1 Tbsp. palm sugar
✔ 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
✔ 2 long green black-eyed peas (lubiya), cut into 1-cm. pieces
✔ Juice of 2 limes ✔ 2 Tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
✔ 2 Tbsp. roasted peanuts, crushed Using a mortar and pestle, crush together ginger, chili, garlic, shallot and sugar.
Keep working until you get a nice paste. Add the papaya and lightly crush until softened. Do the same with the beans. Place in a bowl, add tomatoes and toss. Add the lime juice and fish sauce, toss well and arrange on the plates. Sprinkle the toasted peanuts on top and serve.FISH FILLET WITH ZUCCHINI, LIME AND THYME
Makes 2 main dishes or 4 starters
✔ 4 fillets of white fish (not frozen)
✔ 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
✔ 4 zucchini For the sauce
✔ ¼ cup lime juice
✔ 1⁄3 cup olive oil
✔ 3 cloves garlic
✔ 4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
✔ Salt and pepper
✔ 5 Tbsp. basil, chopped
✔ 5 Tbsp. parsley, chopped Preheat oven to 190°.
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Slice zucchini into thin 4-cm. long strips. Place zucchini and tomatoes on a lined baking sheet and pour half of the sauce on top. Mix with hands to coat all the vegetables. Bake for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are seared and golden. Remove from oven and raise temperature to 220°. Push the vegetables to one side of the baking sheet and arrange the fish fillets on the empty side. Pour 1 Tbsp. of the sauce on each fillet and return to the oven for 10 minutes, until fish is white and cooked. Transfer the fish and the vegetables to serving plates and pour remaining sauce on top.MERINGUE DROPS
Usually made with lemon, the lime adds a totally different dimension to these light delights.
You will need a pastry bag with a serrated tip.
✔ 3 whites of large eggs
✔ 1 cup sugar
✔ Juice and zest of 1 lime Preheat oven to 100°.
Beat egg whites in a mixer bowl until foam forms. Add sugar gradually and beat until foam is almost hard. Add lime juice and zest at the end. Place the foam in a pastry bag with serrated tip. Line a baking sheet and, using the pastry bag, shape 2-cm. cookies 2 cm. apart. Place the cookies in the preheated oven for 3½ hours. Turn the oven off and slightly open the oven door and let the meringue cookies cool slowly in the oven. Keep in an airtight container.LIME TARTLET
For the dough
✔ 180 gr. sugar
✔ 150 gr. butter, at room temperature
✔ Pinch salt
✔ 2 eggs
✔ 280 gr. flour For the lime custard
✔ 1 cup fresh lime juice
✔ 1 cup water
✔ 100 gr. butter
✔ 300 gr. sugar
✔ 5 eggs
✔ 5 gr. cornstarch
✔ 1 lime
To prepare dough: Place sugar, salt and butter in a food processor bowl and whizz until large crumbs form. Add eggs one at a time while the processor is working. When a ball of dough forms, stop the processor, remove dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll using a rolling pin to a 0.5-cm. thick leaf. Using a cookie cutter, make discs and line greased tartlet baking forms with the dough. If using a tart pan, grease and line with the dough. Prick the dough with a fork, cover with aluminum foil and place beans as weights on the foil. Chill the unbaked tartlets in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Heat oven to 180° and bake tartlets for 20 minutes. If baking a tart, you may need to bake it an extra 5 minutes. Remove beans and foil, and return baking form to the oven. Bake until pastry is browned. Remove from the oven and keep in a dry place.
To prepare the lime custard: In a pot, mix together lime juice, water and 150 gr. sugar. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Add the butter and mix. Let simmer on very low heat. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with the remaining sugar. Beat the eggs and add the cornstarch and sugar mixture to the beaten eggs. Transfer 5 Tbsp. of the lime syrup to the egg mixture and mix quickly to avoid lumps. Pour the egg mixture into the syrup, stirring all the time. When the custard thickens, remove the pot from the heat and let cool. Fill the tartlets with custard and garnish with thin slices of lime.
LIME AND OLIVE OIL CAKE
Makes 2 loaves or 1 round 24x26 cm. cake
An easy rich cake that matches the fresh flavors of olive oil and lime, this is a perfect summer coffee cake.
✔ Juice and zest of 4 limes
✔ 1 cup olive oil (or other oil)
✔ 4 eggs ✔ 1¼ cups sugar
✔ 2 cups self-rising flour For the glaze
✔ 1 sachet powdered sugar (100 gr.)
✔ 1 Tbsp. lime juice + 3 Tbsp. water
✔ Zest of 1 lime Preheat oven to 180°.
In a large bowl, beat together all the ingredients except the flour. Add flour and mix until smooth. Transfer to a greased pan and bake for 40 minutes or until baked through. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. To prepare the glaze: Mix all the ingredients until the glaze is thick. If the texture is too thick, add 1 Tbsp. water. Pour glaze on the cooled cake.
LIME AND GINGER VIRGIN COCKTAIL
Makes 1 drink
✔ 1 small lime, peeled and cubed (save peel for garnish)
✔ 1 Tbsp. sugar ✔ 4 Tbsp. red grapefruit juice or red syrup*
✔ Crushed ice
✔ Ginger ale *If using syrup, omit the sugar Using a mortar and pestle, crush the lime and sugar together. Place in a glass half filled with crushed ice. Add grapefruit juice or syrup, and top with ginger ale. Adjust sweetness according to taste.
KEY LIME MARTINI
Makes 1 drink
✔ 1 graham cracker
✔ 4 Tbsp. Pinnacle Cake vodka
✔ 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
✔ 2 Tbsp. fresh cream Crumble graham cracker and rim a martini glass with the crumbs. In a shaker with ice, shake vodka, lime juice and cream.
Strain into a glass.
■ Recipes and photos courtesy of Tekoa Farms, which grow and market fresh limes and other fruits and vegetables. For more details, call (02) 996-4527.