Used lemons turned into purée can be added to any recipe that could benefit from a fresh, tangy zing. To start, stash those squeezed-out rinds in the fridge or freeze your lemons.
When you're ready to make the purée, simmer the juiced lemons for about 30 minutes until they soften. You can also roast the peels if you prefer a richer, caramelized lemon flavor.
After cooling, remove the inner pulp and blend the lemon shells into a purée or paste. For a sweet version, blend two tablespoons of sugar per lemon half with the softened shells.
For a more savory purée, blend the peels with garlic, salt, herbs, chili peppers, or spices like Aleppo pepper. Be sure to add some oil to maintain a smooth consistency.
The paste will retain the bright flavor of lemons without that pungent, acidic bitterness. A sweet purée can be added to desserts like lemon cakes, curds, cheesecakes, and pies.
A savory purée works well in marinades, salad dressings, soups, sauces, and dips or as a substitute for lemon juice and lemon zest in recipes like roasted chicken or pasta dishes.