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Lemonato is a main course dish in which meat, chicken or vegetables are cooked in a lemon based sauce. This dish is commonly cooked in Greece, as the lemony aftertaste is a favorite of the locals. Lemonato recipe is rarely included in cookbooks as it is considered as home fare or a part of simple cooking dishes that are eaten in day to day Grecian life.

History of the Lemonato

The exact origin of the dish is not known. But most households in Greece have some variety of the dish that is cooked almost daily or for special occasions. The exact recipe is attributed to the locals who led a frugal life. Meat was cooked with local lemons that were readily available resulting in a tangy aftertaste. This tangy aftertaste is much loved by Greeks and meat, chicken and even vegetables are dry roasted in a lemon, olive oil and salt based recipe resulting in different variations of the basic lemon sauce.

Ingredients Used and Lemonato Recipe Overview

Lamb or veal may be used to create the base of the dish but chicken is also very common. The meat is seasoned with salt and pepper and then marinated in the fresh lemon juice. Local herbs like oregano, thyme, sage, basil and even rosemary are added to spice up the meats. Local Greek wine and feta cheese may also be added to the dish to accentuate the taste of the meat. The meats or vegetables are then baked or roasted in an oven for an hour or more.

Serving Suggestions for Lemonato

The dish is a part of the main course of a meal and is served at dinner, or supper. Rice and vegetables are a popular accompaniment.

Popular Variations of the Lemonato Recipe

A large number of variations of the dish are present. Common variants include

  • Mosxari lemonato-elafri which is veal and potatoes cooked in a lemonato sauce.
  • Arni lemonato or lemon stew with lamb.
  • Kotopoulo Lemonato or chicken cooked in the same lemon sauce.
  • Hirino lemonato which is pork medallions that are pan fried and served in a lemon sauce.

Nutritional Value

Lemon roasted lamb has about 26 calories in a single serving of 58 gms while a pork variant has about 39 calories in a single serving.