By Mike on Sunday, May 2, 2010, 22:55 - Permalink
May 2010 - Spring has finally arrived and the trees are starting to leaf out - the young leaves of Lime trees are supposedly edible - let's give them a try..
The Lime Tree
This is the Lime tree just around the corner from my home - the same one I picked flowers and fruits from on the previous pages.
Quite commonly for Limes, this tree is surrounded at the base by a bushy tangle of thin branches arising from the bottom of the trunk.
At this time of year the leaves are only just emerging and they're delicate and soft.
I picked a few handfuls of the most tender young leaves from the tips of the new growth.
I put the leaves in layers with grated cheddar between slices of buttered soft white bread.
Eating Lime Leaves
The taste of lime leaves is delicate - something like a blend of leafy-salad and cucumber flavours.
At this young stage, the leaves are still quite downy, so the mouthfeel of the sandwich was a little dry - it was improved considerably by a little bit of salad cream (mayonnaise would also work).
Pretty good - certainly worthwhile as a source of green salad - for the brief period they are available without bugs all over them.
When the leaves are young, downy and crinkly like this, I expect they would take a dressing well, if they were shredded and added to a green salad.
The Problem With Limes
The trouble with lime trees is that they seem to be a really popular choice for aphids - it's been a cold winter this time, so I was able to pick good clean leaves with no sign of damage or infestation.
Later in the season (or as early as this, in some years), the whole tree may be crawling with insects and the leaves may be plastered with their sticky honeydew (some people apparently prefer the leaves like this).