Tag: citrus

More Sunny Citrus

Our local farmer’s market is still brimming with citrus fruit and we are still are eating our way through it. Lilias particularly likes mandarins and this is what happens if I leave her unattended for a minute. Or I find her in the dishwasher. Yes, actually inside it.

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Today I don’t have a recipe as such, more an idea for using both the new season asparagus, the beautiful slim, tender shoots that they are, and the last of the winter oranges.

Asparagus Salad

A small bundle of asparagus
Sea salt and olive oil
Half a lemon
1 orange
Half a small fennel bulb
A small handful of black kalamata olives, halved

Break the woody ends off your asparagus and lay it in a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkling of salt. Roast for about 15 minutes at 200°C- this will vary depending on the size of your asparagus. (Also, my oven is a strange and temperamental beast, so I always feel a little nervous giving cooking instructions. New oven in three sleeps!)

When these are done, lay them on a plate with the very thinly sliced half fennel bulb and orange, making sure all the pith is removed. Then give it another drizzle of olive oil, it is worth using good peppery stuff for this, salt and some nice and plump black olives, halved.

I ate mine with some crusty, buttery bread but you could add a piece of fish or some chicken to bulk it out into more of a dinner. Mine was the perfect lunch for one.

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P.S. I have just updated the recipe page in the hope it will make it easier for you to search for recipes and ideas rather than scrolling through all the posts. Let me know what you think.

P.P.S. Turns out I am not a menu planner, I cannot make my brain work that way. More on this later.

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The Best of the Season

Yesterday I went to buy food for dinner and my neatly written shopping list stayed in my bag. I just couldn’t walk past the bright and sweet smelling citrus. Grapefruit, pomelos, mandarins, satsumas, clementines, limes, lemons, and oranges lay bathing in the late afternoon sun. While Lilias enjoyed the free apple pie samples they were giving out, I quickly came up with a new idea for dinner. We would have a citrus salad and it would be fresh and zingy, both sweet and bitter. Maybe a piece of fish on top, in which case fennel would work well. And we would need something green with that, baby spinach? No, some sprouting broccolini would be perfect. And surely there is some coriander in a jar on the window sill…

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Citrus Salad with Pan Fried Fish
Serves two

1 ruby red grapefruit
2 mandarins
Half a big bulb of fennel, or one small one, plus the fronds
A handful of coriander leaves
1 spring onion
A bunch of sprouting broccolini
A good glug of olive oil
Salt
2 pieces of firm white fish (I used ling cod)
Butter for frying

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Blanch the sprouting broccolini and put aside to cool. Carefully peel the grapefruit and mandarins and finely slice them, the grapefruit cut in half and the mandarins as perfect circles. Finely slice the spring onion and the fennel bulb, leaving the feathery fronds to garnish the fish at the end. Put it all in a bowl with the olive oil (it will make a difference if you use good stuff for this recipe), a good pinch of salt and the coriander leaves. Toss to combine.

Fry your fish in some butter, and while it is cooking, arrange the salad on two plates. When the fish is just cooked through, add it to the top of the salad and garnish with the fennel fronds.

It is the perfect meal for a hot evening (thanks San Francisco for this mid winter heat wave) or to cheer up a dark and cold day. Especially with a cold beer or a crisp glass of wine.

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Make-Me-Better Citrus Salad

Since returning from New York, I have been holed up in the apartment moving from my bed to the sofa and back to bed again. Pregnancy seems to mean that a cold that would last a few days is stretching out over a whole week with no signs of letting up. With the extra time off work, we have been making hearty and wholesome meals, slow cooked lamb shanks in tomato with pasta, a Moroccan tagine with plenty of spices and chickpeas, and lots of fresh and crunchy salads in the hope of a miraculous recovery. This one is a zingy citrus salad using the best of the Californian produce- there seem to be at least twenty different citrus fruits for sale at our local shop. Please excuse the iphone photos- finding the proper camera seemed more effort than it was worth!

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Make-Me-Better Citrus Salad

Flesh of 1/2 a pomelo
2 small blood oranges, sliced
Seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced
Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Rocket
1 cup quinoa
Juice of one lemon
Olive oil
Salt

For the chicken
2 chicken thighs
1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Olive oil
Salt

Start by making up a paste with the spices and oil. Rub this all over the chicken and pop in the oven for about twenty minutes at 180. At the same time, cook your quinoa- it should take about 20 minutes too. While these are cooking, you just need to combine the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. It is just the pomelo that takes time as you have to get the flesh out of each individual segment. I waited for the quinoa and chicken to cool before combining with the rest of the salad and a simple lemon, salt and olive oil dressing. The result was fresh and tasty, an easy way to brighten a dark winter evening. Although, I imagine it would be even better with a glass of rosé in the summer sunshine…

 

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