Monday, September 6, 2010

Baked Lemons: Add Some Zest to Brunch

Who needs a brunch idea? This is a good one. Easy too.

Baked lemons, stuffed with whatever your heart desires. The ones pictured here were filled with antipasti-inspired ingredients: sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green olive tapenade, chicken sausage, homemade multigrain croutons, Parmesan, fresh basil.... topped with a heap of shredded mozzerella cheese and baked for 20 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. I had juiced the lemons first with a citrus reamer (then scraped out/discarded the remaining fibers), and saved all the juice for salad dressings and marinades - not much goes to waste. I looked forward to an occasion to make this dish as soon as I read about the idea here; a family gathering over the weekend was just the ticket. The lemons turned out to be pretty tasty - the flavors were amazing. One thing I'd change, however: use a meltier cheese inside. The Parmesan - although yummy - just didn't provide the ooze and glue that in hindsight the filling needed. So learn from my mistake, and use a melty cheese to start with.

I like this for brunch because it's a savory dish, but not egg-based, so it really complements the egg dishes and sweet pastries that undoubtedly will be on your menu as well. But of course it would make a great appetizer or side dish for a dinner party too.

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