We’ve all experienced this sad reality: the forgotten lemon half moldering in the back of the fridge.
This is all too common in my kitchen. I’ll halve a lemon for a bit of juice, wrap up the other half, put it in the fridge, and forget about it. Weeks later, I usually end up chucking the withered piece into the compost pile.
But there is a better way.
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When life gives you lemons (or any citrus), the freezer is your friend. The next time you need a little bit of lemon juice for a recipe, don’t just wrap up that other half and condemn it to a lonely, refrigerated fate.
Instead, squeeze out all the juice (and maybe the juice from a few other languishing lemons, for good measure). Then, measure and pour the juice into the indentations of an ice cube tray, and pop it in the freezer. Once frozen, pop out the juice cubes and store them in a plastic bag.
This way, when you need a few tablespoons of lemon juice to make, say, shrimp scampi or lemon vinaigrette, you can just grab a few frozen juice cubes; heat them up for 25 to 30 seconds in the microwave (or let them melt at room temperature); and voilà, fresh citrus juice with no moldering lemon in sight.
Shrimp ScampiBy using a few Test Kitchen tricks (like poaching our shrimp in wine), we created a restaurant-quality scampi with perfectly cooked seafood and a garlicky sauce.
Lemon VinaigretteBasic vinaigrette has a fundamental problem: It doesn’t stay together. We sought a way to make oil and vinegar form a long-term bond.
Photo: Kylie Townsend, Getty Images