This shiny, green citrus fruit can be the difference between quite ordinary recipes and ones that make guests sit up and take note. Lime speaks of mojitos, fresh fish and Asian green curries. Its friends, mint, red chili and ginger seem to create harmony in dishes and shout of vivid sunshine and crisp flavours, just right for summer days. Inexpensive and happy to sit for a week or so in the fruit bowl, it may have become my favorite go-to ‘store cupboard’ ingredient.
Squeeze lime juice over a mixture of finely sliced sea bass, scallops or sea bream to make ceviche. Add chopped chilies and fresh coriander. The acidic juice will gently ‘cook’ the fish and all that is needed to serve is a few toasted tortilla.
Muddle plenty of lime juice with brown sugar, rum and mint to make a fabulous mojito. But this isn’t its only trick, rum punch and margarita both taste infinitely better with ‘a dash of lime’.
Fold lime zest together with condensed milk, double cream and eggs. Bake in a buttered crust to make a Key Lime pie, perhaps the most famous contribution to the American dessert world.
Douse loads of lime juice over a bowl full of finely chopped tomatoes, avocado and coriander to make a zingy salsa. You could use however you fancied, but my vote would be topping grilled chicken in a warm burrito.
Whisk lime juice with your best olive oil, soy and a touch of brown sugar. Dress fresh leaves, spring onions, mint and basil and serve with poached salmon or fresh pasta.
Georgina Fuggle is a food writer and author of the wonderful Take One Pot Cookbook