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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Dinner

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We could talk forever about citrusy desserts. I would tell you about when I was little and my family ventured "Down Neck" to the Portuguese neighborhood of Newark and I ordered orange sorbet and it arrived in an actual orange. About when I was in college and I went to catered events only to snag lemon bars and scatter back to the library with my loot. About the chocolate-covered key lime pie that crossed paths with me in Key West and melted all over my clothes but stole my heart anyway (it was on a stick!).

But I don't want to talk about any of that. I want to talk about citrusy dinners. Which no one talks about enough and it's time we did.

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Lemon and friends—lime, grapefruit, and orange—are the bright, colorful, seasonal saviors that our winter-worn bodies need. They perk up any cookie season sluggishness and get ahead of any flu season foolishness. And they're sour, sure. But that doesn't mean sugar always has to get involved. Instead of asking, What balances citrus? let's ask, What does citrus balance?

A lot! Acidic ingredients cut richness (a lemon squeeze over fried fish), brighten savoriness (the French classic duck à l'orange), and tame saltiness (Japanese ponzu with yuzu and soy sauce). In other words, they're just what dinner wants. Here are 16 of our favorites:

Lemon

Julia Turshen's Olive Oil-Fried Eggs with Yogurt & Lemon

Julia Turshen's Olive Oil-Fried Eggs with Yogurt & Lemon by Genius Recipes

Barbara Kafka’s Creamy Lemon Pasta

Barbara Kafka’s Creamy Lemon Pasta by Genius Recipes

Small Oven's Green Salad with Preserved Lemon and Candied Ginger

Small Oven's Green Salad with Preserved Lemon and Candied... by Genius Recipes

Greek Lemon Soup —Avgolemono

Greek Lemon Soup —Avgolemono by ChristineQ

Lime

Roasted Butternut and Red Quinoa Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut and Red Quinoa Salad with Spicy Lime Vi... by Jillian Bernardini

Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema by Alexandra Stafford

Braised Peanut Chicken Curry with Thai Gremolata

Braised Peanut Chicken Curry with Thai Gremolata by indieculinary

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado by EmilyC

Grapefruit

Sugared Grapefruit Salad with Fennel and Mint

Sugared Grapefruit Salad with Fennel and Mint by Leah Koenig

Grilled Scallops Skewers with Ruby Red Grapefruit and Chile Glaze

Grilled Scallops Skewers with Ruby Red Grapefruit and Chi... by cheese1227

Halloumi and Grapefruit Salad

Halloumi and Grapefruit Salad by Izy Hossack

Savory Grapefruit Sabayon

Savory Grapefruit Sabayon by Berna

Orange

Garlic-Orange-Rosemary Marinated Olives

Garlic-Orange-Rosemary Marinated Olives by Kendra Vaculin

Molly Stevens' Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad

Molly Stevens' Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad by Genius Recipes

Roast Squash & Chickpea Salad with Orange-Tahini Dressing

Roast Squash & Chickpea Salad with Orange-Tahini Dressing by Ali Slagle

Spicy Orange-Ginger Chicken

Spicy Orange-Ginger Chicken by foxeslovelemons

What's your favorite savory citrus recipe? Tell us in the comments below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Soup, Pasta, Winter, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Orange