Although limes have been grown in Australia since early European settlement, they were originally mostly used to make cordial and marmalade. But in the last 30 years, their vibrant colour and sweet and tangy citrus flavour has seen them become an essential and widespread cooking ingredient.
Two major types are grown in Australia: the West Indian lime, which prefers warmer temperatures, and the Tahitian lime, which grows better in cooler climates.
Limes are rich in vitamin C and a good source of soluble fibre.
Their acidic flavour suits both sweet and savoury recipes. Limes also work well as a substitute for lemons, but they are generally sweeter and less bitter.
The skin and zest have as much flavour as the juice; the best way to remove the zest is to grate the skin before the lime is cut. Lime leaves are also used as a cooking ingredient in Indian and Asian recipes.
Lime works well in salads and salad dressings, drinks, sorbets, pies, custards, and with vegetables and fish. It is often used in marinades for different types of meat. Like lemons, lime juice can be brushed over cut fruit to help slow the browning process.
On Saturday morning at the Gawler Farmers’ Market, The Food Forest will have certified organic limes for sale and DJ Garden Fresh Citrus will have limes grown on its Nildottie property on the banks of the River Murray. Gawler Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 8am-noon at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, 2 Lyndoch Road, Gawler.
At the Willunga Farmers’ Market on Saturday, Renmark producer Fat Goose Fruits will have its certified organic limes for sale from 8am-12.30pm.
And on Sunday at the Adelaide Farmers’ Market, stallholders B&A Andonopolous, DJ Garden Fresh Citrus, Otherwood Farms, The Food Forest and Fat Goose Fruits will all have limes for sale from 9am to 1pm at the Adelaide Showground, Leader Street, Wayville.
To make use of the abundance of limes in season right now, Fat Goose Fruits has shared its recipe for preserved limes and the following serving suggestion:
“The best way to enjoy fresh limes is to make a stunning yet simple salad with strips of a finely sliced preserved lime, the ripest tomatoes available, sprigs of fresh coriander and the Fresh Cheddar Curd available from Alexandrina Cheese. Arrange on a platter then season with salt and extra virgin olive oil.”
Great preserve-making requires beautiful ingredients. Always choose the good produce and look for the best salt available. Try Murray River Salt as it sharpens and defines the natural flavour of the limes in a way that reveals a uniquely gentle and complex flavour. It will taste fabulous!
Murray River Salt
You will need 1 large or 2 smaller sterilised jars to accommodate the limes.
Juice 5 of the 12 limes, discard skin and set the juice aside. Weigh the remaining limes – you will need 10 per cent salt to the total weight of the limes.
Quarter the remaining limes. Sprinkle some salt in the bottom of the jar/s and firmly pack with a layer of lime pieces.
Sprinkle more salt over limes and add a little juice. Repeat process until jar is full and lime pieces are fully submerged.
Seal jar/s and store for a minimum of three months before opening.
Makes about 700g
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