Our local paper picked up a piece a week or two ago by Amy Culbertson titled “Infusing winter meals with exotic appeal” touting the glories of Meyer lemons and offering two delicious-sounding recipes for using them.
Unlike their true lemony yellow cousins, Meyer lemons are a hybrid lemon-orange cross and their skins betray their heritage. In fact, it was the bright, almost sunburnt yellow-orange color of a big, beautiful bowl of them in the accompanying photo that first drew my eye to the article.
We’re lucky that among our small cluster of fruit trees at our place in Santa Barbara stands a good-sized old Meyer lemon tree that works hard to keep us well supplied with tasty, mild Meyer lemons when we’re there. Sometimes, it works harder than we can keep up with, thus my interest in recipes for what to do with an occasional excess of Meyer lemons.
Blending their juice with lime juice springs to mind, but a girl can only drink so many margaritas.
Fortunately, Ms. Culbertson came to my rescue. Of the two recipes included with her article in our paper, the first–a Meyer Lemon and Onion Relish–weighs in at just 2 grams of carb per 2 tablespoon serving. No real problem there for the low carb dieter. The second–a Meyer Lemon, Gorgonzola, and Arugula Pizza–requires minimal modification to render it low carb friendly.
And it sounds divine.
The way it’s written, the nutritional breakdown provided claims a whopping 125 grams of carb in a serving (half a 10-inch pizza) which seems sort of implausible, when you consider what’s in it, or rather on it: olive oil, a half cup of the Meyer Lemon and Onion Relish, Gorgonzola cheese, some pine nuts, fresh thyme leaves, and arugula leaves. I ran the ingredients through my handy-dandy nutritional calculator and discovered that the aforementioned toppings only contain 11.7 grams of effective carbohydrate in both servings–i.e., ringing up just south of 6 grams per person.
So where’s the massive carb load? In the pizza crust, obviously, but since the toppings only add between 5 and 6 grams, to hit that 125 gram carb total claimed per serving that means there’s got to be 120 grams of carb in the dough for each half of her 10-incher. If so, that’s one thick crust she’s topping.
No matter; it’s simple enough to reduce the carb tab and keep all the flavors by either substituting a large low-carb flour tortilla for the crust (at a cost of around 5 grams a person) or for those who want something a little thicker to chew on, by putting the delicious toppings on a low-carb homemade waffle, for about the same cost.
Either way, as soon as we get back to our Meyer Lemon tree, I intend to make enough relish to keep me in Meyer Lemon, Gorgonzola, and Arugula pizzas for a good while.
Low-carb adapted, of course.