When life gives you gives lemons, throw a lemon-themed dinner party! Seasonal, ingredient based menus are a great way to spice up dinner parties. In the past, we hosted strawberry, apple, cherry, and mango themed dinners. We are excited to share our citrus-centered celebration with you!
Spring is in full bloom and monthly supper clubs are a get way to bring friends together. Lemons can be easily incorporated into drinks, salads, entrees, desserts as well as table decor. Have fun and be whimsical when designing decorations and dishes. We recommend potluck dinners, so that you can create a fine dining experience without breaking the bank or breaking a sweat.
There are several varieties of lemons, but Meyer Lemons are sweeter than Eureka or Lisbon Lemons. Meyer Lemon season runs from December to May. These lemons are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges. They are smaller and rounder with smoother thin skin. Eureka and Lisbon Lemons are larger, thicker, more textured and more acidic. Unlike Meyer Lemons, they are generally available all year long. Since it is Meyer Lemon season, we focused on cooking with these sweeter lemons. Just one squeeze added a punch of citrus to our dishes and beverages.
Lemons add a breath of freshness with their bright color and citrus flavor. You can certainly purchase lemon themed linens, but we decided to create our stunning table centerpiece using green leaves, eucalyptus and fresh lemons. We placed a large white floral arrangement of daisies and tulips in the center. The green, white and yellow combination was quite beautiful when mixed with crisp white votive candles.
We added yellow napkins and lemon place cards to add a pop of color to each place setting. We used Must Have Menus to create our Meyer Lemon Dinner Menu. We made our tablescape more three-dimensional with the addition of a black and white striped backdrop. The pops of gold on the backdrop resembled floating lemons.
Crafting a menu around a single ingredient can be a lot of fun. Some courses call for the main ingredient to be at the center of the plate, while at other times it plays a supporting role. Lemon pairs well with vodka in cocktails, as well as with capers, fish, crab cakes, garlic, shrimp, lobster, basil, honey, chicken, ricotta, goat cheese, blueberries and blackberries.
Our first course was ricotta bruschetta with honey and lemon and mozzeralla bruschetta with tomato, basil and lemon, paired with champagne. Bruschetta is an easy appetizer to start any meal. You can make them an hour or so before guests arrive and have them plated before guests arrive. These white melamine platters from Q-Squared are great for serving appetizers.
Our next course was crab cakes with a lemon aioli. We paired this course with a buttery chardonnay. Remember to make the crab cake patties early and refrigerate to keep them firm when they are pan fried. Aioli is very easy to make. Start with mayonnaise and then flavor with lemon and herbs. It makes a great sauce for the the crab cakes.
For the main course, we served grilled Meyer Lemon chicken with roasted green beans and potatoes. The chicken was marinated in lemon and olive oil and kept it very moist. We paired this course with a pinot noir.
We concluded our meal with a blueberry lemon panna cotta, paired with an Ice Wine. Blueberries and lemon pair well together. The acid from the lemon cuts the sweetness of the blueberries, making them a great sauce for the panna cotta.
We loved incorporating Meyer lemons into a single ingredient dinner party. For seasonal summer ideas, check out the list of fruit and veggies below.
Asparagus | Carrots | Celery | Chard | Chicory | Cucumbers | Garlic | Green Beans | Peas | Radishes | Tomatoes | Radish | Rhubarb | Watercress
Apricot | Black Cherry | Cherries | Gooseberries | Melons | Pear | Plum | Peach | Nectarine | Raspberries | Strawberries
Broad Beans | Cucumbers | Garlic | Green Beans | Peas | Radishes | Watercress
Bilberries | Blueberries | Cherries | Black, Red and White Currants | Gooseberries | Raspberries | Strawberries
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party – Ron White