Although summertime signals the highest demand for lemons (ice-cold lemonade, anyone?), these pucker-up fruits are available year-round and make a wonderfully sunny addition to winter, spring, and fall dishes, too. Lemons boast one of nature’s highest vitamin C concentrations and an unmistakable tang.

“There’s really nothing comparable to fresh lemon,” says Jill Davie, a Los Angeles–based chef. “It’s one of the most popular flavors to play with because it zips up so many foods.”

According to Davie, lemons’ uses go on and on. “Never throw away a lemon!” she says. “If you don’t need the juice right away, squeeze it and freeze it. You can also grate the zest and freeze it in a plastic freezer bag for later use. And when you’re really done with it, rub the pulp on your fingernails to brighten and strengthen them; then grind the peels in your garbage disposal to freshen it up.” Put the squeeze on lemons with these recipes.

Lemon-Shallot Sauce with Roasted Vegetables

The rich sauce tastes like hollandaise—without the butter! Use it to dress up poached eggs or broiled fish, too. View recipe.

Lemon-Braised Chicken with Almonds and Cranberries 

Braising is a slow-cooking method that uses liquid and covered heat to keep moisture in the meat. Use a vegetable peeler to remove lemon peel in very thin strips, leaving the bitter white pith behind. Serve this dish alongside Israeli couscous made with a mix of water and fresh lemon juice. View recipe. 

Lemon-Basil Dressing on Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad 

This simple and deliciously fresh dressing makes more than you’ll need; it keeps for at least a week in the fridge. If you like, make your own goat cheese; you can find directions at View recipe. 

Warm Lemon-Lavender Cakes

Delicate in flavor but with a texture similar to bread pudding, these individual cakes may be dressed up with any fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or even plain whipped cream. If you prefer, substitute fresh or frozen strawberries for the cranberries in the sauce; reduce the sugar slightly. View recipe. 

Lemon Mint Tea

A light, comforting drink that’s perfect after a meal or just before bed. View recipe. 

Lemon Ginger Tea

Sweet, strong, and hot, this spicy tea is perfect for nursing a cold or to warm up on a chilly day. Remove the yellow lemon peel (leave the white pith) with a vegetable peeler. The ginger slices make a nice, medicinal treat, but you can discard before serving if you prefer. View recipe.