Suzi and I are in New Mexico where we can probably score citrus by the boxload. There is much more to citrus than juice and this book proves that. Take a look, get some lemons and limes and enjoy the power of citrus. Here’s the 2015 review of a superior cookbook.
We are weeks into fall and it’s that nostalgic time of year. Green is disappearing from our trees, replaced by the reds and oranges that announce the growing season is over. Farm stands offer up the final bounty of summer and that late fall corn. Fresh food times is nearly at an end.
That’s what we all think. And it’s wrong. Because beginning now and through the winter is the season for citrus. To leverage the winter citrus crop to the last drop, we now have Citrus by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson. Victoria lives in the Topa Mountains of Ojai, California, surrounded by citrus groves.
Valerie and Victoria have produced a volume of recipes that you can start with today and walk your way through all the way to next spring. It’s a beautiful little book, with lovely photographs of lively recipes. At the end of this post, there’s a picture of their Grilled Sardines with Orange and Polenta. That’s typical of the recipes in Citrus: something different, needing just a little time, offering such a bounty of flavor.
The book is organized into chapters for each of the citrus fruits they consider:
- And The Rest [kumquats, citron, …]
There is a great two-page guide at the start of the book suggesting Dishes by Course. Here are examples of the best ideas in Citrus:
Your Breakfast can sparkle with
Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Cream
Breakfast Crepes with Candied Tangerines
Meal Starters include:
Farmhouse Ricotta with Persian Lime Oil
Halibut Ceviche with Lime and Tequila
Lime and Chile Salted Almonds
Main dishes employ citrus flavors in clever ways:
Whole Roasted Fish with Lemon and Fennel Flowers
Dungeness Crab with Lime and Chile Dipping Sauce
Osso Buco with Orange Gremolata
Tangerine Sticky Ribs
Salads, Soups and Sides can all be improved with the bright intensity of citrus elements:
Honey Oranges with Lavender Flower
Roasted Salman with Anchovy and Lemon Dressing
Szechuan Shrimp and Ruby Grapefruit Salad
Desserts is the biggest collection of recipes with ideas that will end your meal with a citrus flourish:
Burnt Sugar Meyer Lemon Tart
Valencia Orange Bread and Butter Pudding
Dark Chocolate Waffles with Maple Kumquats
Orange and Rosemary Polenta Cake
You can sip your citrus as well as eat it. In Drinks the suggestions abound:
Ice Blood Orange Margarita
Page Tangerine Negroni
Citrus is filled with recipes that will catch your eye and perhaps command your attention. While the recipes display a sophistication of flavor combinations, they are easily executed. Typically, the recipe has a half dozen ingredients and that many well written paragraphs for preparation. The writing is direct and easily followed. Nowhere here will you get lost in mid-recipe. It’s a smart book.
It turns out that winter does not have to be filled with fondness for the freshness of spring and summer. Winter has its own bounty of citrus tartness. Citrus is your introduction to winter satisfaction.