Growing up, I spent several summers visiting my grandparents in the Florida Keys. These days, when I see key limes at the market, I’m catapulted back to age 10–to my grandmother’s sublime key lime pie, her tart limeade and that tangy-sweet steak marinade she made with fresh key limes from her tree. When it was time to head home, we’d squeeze a bunch of limes so I could bring juice home (clearly this was before carry-on liquids were capped at 3 ounces).
These days, you can find key limes in grocery stores nationwide. Thin-skinned key limes are much smaller than regular limes (usually the size of a ping-pong ball or golf ball) and they contain very few seeds. Green key limes are actually immature fruit and are fairly tangy, but as they ripen and turn yellow, the acidity drops and they get sweeter. There’s no shortage of uses for key limes–use them anywhere a recipe needs a tangy splash of citrus flavor, such as in marinades for meat, poultry and fish; dressings and vinaigrette; salsas, pies, quick breads, muffins, and more.
Here, I use them to give delicious flavor to chicken kebabs.
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Hot days call for frozen pies. Cool, creamy and smooth — they’re like instant air conditioning for your mouth. When I was little, my grandmother lived in the Florida Keys and I visited every summer. The best memories I have include cooling off in the crystal clear Atlantic and taking heaping spoonfuls of her velvety key lime pie.
My grandma had key limes growing in her backyard, so making pies was a breeze (a very warm breeze, but a breeze nonetheless). For those of you without the green gems in your market, I’ve got the perfect solution. I’ve made the pie countless ways and discovered that you can make it with ANY citrus juice and zest. Pick your favorite – lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit – add a few simple ingredients, and you’re in frozen pie heaven.
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Brighten up a winter’s day with sweet, tart and tangy citrus fruit.
1. Grow your own.
2. Read up on lemons.
3. Liven up a beet salad.
4. Make (lightened-up) margaritas.
5. Turn leftover holiday cranberries into orange and lemon-spiked chutney.
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- Ina Garten's Brussels Sprouts
When you eat the rainbow, you get a rainbow of nutrients, so each month, we’re offering up 10 ways to eat foods of a different color. With both St. Patty’s Day and spring just around the corner, what better color to focus on than green? March is also National Nutrition Month and this year the focus is eating a variety of colors, so be sure to check out some yummy orange and red-colored foods, too.
10 ways to eat more green »