Sole Meuniére with steamed vegetables is an easy “fast food” combo. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

I have a tendency to go through a whole lot of lemons in my kitchen and often buy a bag or two when I go into town to do my weekly shopping. I certainly don’t want to risk being without them. Not only do I drink lemon water all day long, but it’s important to have them on hand for all the fresh fish I’m lucky enough to enjoy on a regular basis.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundys Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

For instance, Sole Meuniére is one of my absolute favorite quickie main dishes. Truly, I could eat fish prepared in this manner every day of the week. Extremely easy to prepare, this fish is incredibly tasty and healthy.

The lemon, along with barely singed butters, gives the delicate sole a bright, burnished flavor. If you are serving these delectable fillets to more than two people, you can double the recipe and sauté the fish in batches, keeping them warm in a 200-degree oven.

The simple main dish calls for an equally simple side, so just steam or sauté a medley of fresh vegetables. If you don’t have a steaming basket in your kitchen, it’s worth it to get one. The vegetables hold their color and texture so much better when they’re not drowning in salted water.

Add a glint of both lemon and butter to your veggies if you like and perhaps a teaspoon of crunchy slivered almonds and/or a sprinkle of fresh herbs or nutritional yeast before serving. Don’t season your veggie side dish too highly, though, or it will upstage the subtle flavor of the lemon-kissed sole fillets – and you don’t want that.

This lemon pound cake is a favorite dessert of mine that can also be made with all different varieties of oranges. The moist cake with its slathering of syrupy glaze keeps really well tightly wrapped in the fridge and is actually better after it has had a chance to hang out for a day or two. It’s a wonderful thing to have this on hand in case you want to make your afternoon “tea and a snack” extra special.

Go buy a bag of lemons and try these recipes. If you come up with other lemony ideas to share, by all means, I want to know!

Sole Meuniére

4 (4 ounces each) fresh sole fillets
1/2 cup flour
Kosher salt and pepper
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Combine 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper with flour on a plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.

Heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat until it begins to brown. Dredge sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for two minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula. Add lemon zest and juice to the pan and cook for two more minutes.

Place the fillets on warmed plates, pour sauce over them, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings

Lemon Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan, ideally one that is 8 1/2 inches long, 4 1/4 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches deep. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake onto a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar syrup over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the final glaze, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth. Pour over the cake and allow to set. Yield: 8 servings

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