Caramelized Lemon Turmeric Sauce

Caution, this sauce is for lemon lovers only! This versatile sauce has sweet, tart, bitter, and charred flavors and makes use of a very unique ingredient: the whole lemon peel.


  • Whole lemon
  • 2-4 tbsp robustly-flavored olive oil
  • 0.25 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric
  • Generous flaky sea salt


  1. Cut the lemon in half and juice it, then set the juice aside.
  2. Remove the seeds from the lemon and discard. Then dice the lemon peel up into very small, even pieces. Try to cut them as uniformly as possible since otherwise some pieces will start to burn while others aren't cooked sufficiently.
  3. Put the diced lemon peel and 2 tbsp olive oil into a sauce pan. Working over medium heat, cook the lemon peel until it is golden in color and softened. Keep a very close eye on it and stir frequently since the sugars in the lemon peel will want to burn. Don't let any parts of the lemon peel burn otherwise it will impart a bitter flavor (and yucky color!) to your sauce. Add more oil as needed to keep the lemon peel thoroughly moistened.
  4. When the lemon peel is evenly caramelized, remove it from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  5. Add the caramelized lemon peel and any residual liquid in the pan to a high-power blender. Add the juice of the lemon, the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, turmeric, and a very generous few pinches of salt. Blend until you have a thick, smooth texture.
  6. Taste it!! This is very important since lemons can vary greatly in their size and acidity. I like to let this sauce stay pretty bold and tart, but not overpoweringly so! Add more maple syrup until you're happy with the balance of sweetness and acidity. Likewise, you can add more turmeric if you want its flavor to be more pronounced. Re-blend after any additions.
  7. Assess the thickness of your sauce. You want to be able to drizzle it onto a salad, a bowl, grilled veggies, etc. If it seems too thick, add a dash of water and re-blend.
  8. Store your sauce in a sealed container. It will keep in the fridge for a week or two, and numerous weeks in the freezer. If it thickens as it sits, just stir in a dash of water to return it to your desired consistency.