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What You Should Make with Limes Right Now

Alex Van Buren

What You Should Make with Limes Right Now

Photo credit: StockFood

Start appreciating the slice of lime that comes with that bourbon and ginger, vodka tonic or poached fish entrée, because what Mexicans are now calling “green gold” has shot up in price. 

NPR’s The Salt reports that a combination of heavy rains and a lime treeinfecting bacterium have resulted in a spike in prices both south of the border and stateside. In Mexico, they’re selling for three times the normal price, and here in the United States, “grocery stores are now charging an average of 53 cents for a single lime, compared to 21 cents per fruit at this time last year.” In Mexico, thieves even have started hijacking truckloads of limes, necessitating armed guards. 

It’s quite a lot of hubbub for the humble garnish. The good news is that Mexican authorities think production “should pick up in the coming months, as yields go up with the arrival of spring, and prices will hopefully fall back down.” 

Thank goodness for that, because hello, Cinco de Mayo, with its wonderful excess of guacamole and margaritas, is just around the corner! For hoarding types who don’t want to wait to appreciate the pretty little emerald citrus fruits, use limes while the getting’s good. Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Fish Salpicon

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Photo credit: Food52

Showcasing tilapia, cilantro, chiles, onions, and plenty of lime juice, and served with chips or tortillas, this is sort of a deconstructed fish taco. 

Lime Ice Cream

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Photo credit: Food52

Four ingredients: lime juice, lime zest, cream, and sugar. Yum. 

Margarita

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Photo credit: Food52

There’s a reason this drink is a classic. Keep the recipe nice and simple, too, or mix it up by adding a splash of lemon (our other fave citrus).

Raspberry Lime Rickey

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Photo credit: Food52

Choosing between a raspberry lime rickey and a cherry lime rickey would be a tough call. Limes are major players in both, and add sparkle that would be missed otherwise. 

Lime-Marinated Skirt Steak

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Photo credit: Everyday Food

Limes don’t need to be relegated to the territory of just fish, cocktails, and everything light. Mingled with chiles, salt, garlic, and soy, they make a knockout marinade powerful enough to tenderize skirt steak. 

Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos with Black Beans and Avocado

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Photo credit: Food52

The same is true of tacos, one of lime’s favorite partners. In this recipe, pork is flavored with lime juice, coconut milk and pineapple juice to wonderfully sweet-sour effect.

Guacamole

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Photo credit: Food52

The great thing about this recipe is its restrained approach to lime; just a squeeze brightens the hot, salty and herbaceous elements, and lets the buttery texture of the avocado shine. 

Roberto Santibañez’s Classic Guacamole
From Food52
Makes about 1 3/4 cups

2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile, including seeds, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 large or 2 small ripe Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
A squeeze of lime, if desired

1. Mash the onion, chile, salt (the coarseness of kosher salt helps you make the paste), and half of the cilantro to a paste in a molcajete or other mortar. You can also mince and mash the ingredients together on a cutting board with a large knife or a fork, and then transfer the paste to a bowl. 

2. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (not through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with a spoon into the mortar or bowl. Toss well (it should be like salad properly dressed in vinaigrette), then add the rest of the cilantro and mash very coarsely with a pestle or a fork. Season to taste with lime juice (if you’d like) and additional chile and salt.

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