Meyer Lemon & Green Olive Salsa Recipe
Winter Sweet Meets Spring Green
As much as I would like this post to be about the beautiful green stalks of asparagus that truly herald the coming of spring, it turns out this is really much more about citrus. Forgive me. I could have abandoned this theme altogether except I know how many of you are as fond of the Meyer lemon as I. And as our days get ever-longer and slowly warm, the bright sunshine of citrus begins to fade. So let’s enjoy these golden yellow orbs with their slightly sweet peels and wait just awhile longer to talk about all things green and spring-y.
Actually, this is rather green and even though it features citrus, tastes very much like something you want to eat as the winter’s chill begins to recede. A salsa of sorts, this tart and tangy combination of chopped meyer lemons and green olives is spectacular on the original recipe’s destination of grilled halibut, but it’s also amazing on asparagus. Try it stirred into a simple risotto, dolloped atop a fish taco or even scooped into your next tuna sandwich. It’s one of those things that when you have it you find new ways to use it all the time, which is why I always make a double recipe.
As my colleague Gabriel reminded me, there is plenty of time for asparagus, English peas, fava beans, rhubarb and all the lovely harbingers of spring we are only just beginning to get glimpses of. Fair warning: I am already plotting a dessert for next week using up the remainder of my Meyer lemons, it will likely have some chocolate and it may even be just the thing to end your Easter dinner. Then again, I may be lucky enough to find some rhubarb.
- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 2 large or 3 small Meyer lemons
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3/4 cup of your favorite green olives
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine shallots and vinegar in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Cut stem and blossom ends off the lemons. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice lemons lengthwise into 1/8” slices, including the peel. Then cut slices lengthwise again into matchstick, followed by crosswise cuts so you have approximately 1/8th inch diced pieces.
- Pit and chop olives into roughly the same size as the lemons. An easy way is to pound each olive with a cleaver to loosen, then the meat cuts easily away from the pit.
- Add the diced lemon to the shallots, stir in honey, olives, parsley, olive oil and a grind or two of pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.