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Winter Citrus

Cold, wet days often call for warm, comforting, rich food.  However, when your mood needs a boost let your taste buds be invigorated by a burst of sweet, tangy citrus.  As I mentioned in last week’s post about preserving lemons, I have always found the contrast between the darkness of winter and the bright citrus flavors that peak at this time of year a confusing paradox.  So while I work to get over it and invite these flavors into my winter cooking and eating regime, I look to the below for inspiration.

NOTE: Winter citrus is featured on lots of prix-fixe menus for Oakland Restaurant Week, 2 more days left to enjoy Oakland’s amazing food scene at discounted prices.  Check out for a great search tool to review menus.  I came across yummy citrus salads at Nido, A16, Flora, Homestead, and Penrose…just to name a few.

Saveur just published a great slideshow of 20 recipes using winter citrus that has some delicious looking options.

Food52 also did a list of yummy looking ideas here.  Meyer Lemon Focaccia??  Wow…

My fav, Smitten Kitchen, has published two delicious looking blood orange cakes.  A brand new recipe for one with Almond & Ricotta is here, and a simple one with olive oil is right here.

(Just to add to the delicious list of citrus cakes, she also has a grapefruit yogurt cake that is intriguing to me…)

Ever thought to roast winter citrus?  Hmmm…paired with roast chicken for dinner, or maybe a little yogurt, honey and sliced almonds for breakfast?  5 more ways on how to use roasted citrus are here.

If I have my choice of citrus salads, it involves beets and a little crumbled cheese.

We have a HUGE rosemary bush, so Rosemary Orange Muffins sound like a good idea.

Marmalades?  Here you go:
Grapefruit Cranberry Marmalade (she also has a blueberry grapefruit jam here)
Kumquat Marmalade (pair it with brie on a piece of baguette…yes please)
Three Citrus Marmalade (Martha is packing 3 in 1, orange, blood orange, and meyer lemon.  Not only that, she is then using it as a filling for these barley scones.  I think I just found a project for this weekend)
Sicilian Blood Orange Marmalade (with that color, how can you go wrong)

Have you ever had a Pomelo?  I haven’t.  According to a bit of reading I just did, they are the biggest of the citrus family, sweeter than a grapefruit, have a pretty red flesh, and just one has over 600% of your daily Vitamin C!  Hmmm…pomelo citrus bars?

I’ve never heard of an Oroblanco…but after reading this I am curious to track one down and give it a try.

Are you confused about Kumquats?  I am…I have never had one.  Apparently the skin is sweet and you can eat it, yet the inside is tart.  I am still confused.  Martha pairs them with slow roasted pork here.  In tart form?  In salad?

And just for fun…

Winter citrus notecards are darling here on Etsy (and she is right here in Oakland!)

How about a lovely body scrub with sweet orange, grapefruit and tangerine peel?  Or you could try making your own.

Maybe next year I will try drying citrus slices to make wreaths, like the ones seen here and here.

I have been into flour sack towels recently, so this lemon one and this orange one are calling my name.

Why not add a bright pop of color to your wardrobe to beat the winter blues, a little lemon maybe?  Blood orange?



Photo Credits:
Top Row (left to right): Nagami kumquat – Malcolm Manners via flickr.  Rain Dog (with edits) – DncnH via flickr.  Orange Tree – Emily Jones via flickr.  Caraiman – Edmond Dantes via flickr.
Middle Image (left): Moody Day (with edits) – Jeremy Piehler via flickr.
Middle Image (right): Mandarin Oranges – Tara Schmidt via flickr.
Bottom Row (left to right): Cloudy Day – Anton via flickr.  Lemon Tree – wplynn via flickr.  Sleepy Hollow – Romina Campos via flickr.  California Citrus State Park – Jasperdo via flickr.  Everyday AdeLay No. 70 – Michelle Robinson via flickr.




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