Use Citrus in your Winter Culinary – from Juice to Zest
Although citrus fruits are a year-round mainstay in my home, I really enjoy them in the winter.
In the winter, when citrus is at its ripest, other fruits are harder to come by. In addition, I believe citrus has its best chance to shine when we cook with heavier ingredients that have deeper flavors. a fantastic counterpoint to fatty components.
Citrus is a genus of flowering trees and shrubs that includes lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. There are dozens of varieties of each type. Citrus fruits are all grown in warm climates, and the U.S. gets most of its oranges and grapefruits from Florida, lemons from California, and limes from Mexico.
Citrus fruits are often both sweet and sour because of the inherent natural combination of sugar and citric acid. They can add subtle or powerful flavor to countless savory and sweet dishes. You can include citrus in beverages, vinaigrettes, dips, marinades, meats, salads, seafood, pasta, vegetables, desserts, and baked goods of all kinds.
Think of adding a little zest to chicken marsala for an uplift. Hello, lemon bars! A lot makes it the star of the show.
The two main methods for using citrus in cuisine are zest and juice. The zest is the fruit’s vividly colored outer skin. A flavor note that can only be characterized as lemony is added by zest. Although there may be a faint undertone of delightful bitterness, the zest is not particularly acidic.
There are various levels of acidity in the juice. Additionally, most meals sing and taste “balanced” when a little acid is added. Acidity provides brightness and makes rich dishes sparkle a little bit. A splash of juice over grilled veggies or a fish fillet may transform a dish.
Every citrus fruit must be sturdy and brightly colored. It is advisable to always wash and dry the fruits before using them in order to get rid of the waxy coating that is frequently sprayed on to keep them fresh during shipping. If you’re utilizing the peel in any dishes, this is very crucial.
A simple cooking tip for getting the most juice out of citrus fruit is to firmly but gently roll the fruit back and forth along its widest area using the palm of your hand. This “tenderizes” it and facilitates the extraction of juice.
Citrus fruits should be kept in the refrigerator’s crisper or vegetable drawer to ensure the longest possible shelf life. They often endure for three weeks. While they should be handled identically, oranges and grapefruits only last two weeks in the refrigerator on average.
Here is a recipe for Brussels sprouts that only calls for two ingredients and highlights the attractiveness and adaptability of lemon. Simply press the little roasted citrus wedges; you don’t even need to juice or zest them.
Roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon
- 2 lemons
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Set the oven to 400° F. Apply nonstick spray to a baking sheet with a rim.
Each lemon should be cut in half crosswise, and then each half should be divided into 6 wedges (or 4 or 8; it doesn’t really matter). On the baking sheet, spread out the Brussels sprouts, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and top with lemon wedges.
Toss the ingredients together with a spoon or your hands to ensure that everything is thoroughly covered with oil. On the baking sheet, arrange the lemon slices and Brussels sprouts in a single layer.
Roast the Brussels sprouts for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they are reasonably soft and lightly browned. If you remember, toss halfway through and spread back out on the baking sheet.
Squeeze some of the roasted lemon wedges over the Brussels sprouts, taking care to pick up roughly half of them. Put all of the ingredients, including the unsqueezed lemon pieces, in a bowl and serve. The leftover lemon wedges will give the Brussels sprouts color and taste, and guests can squeeze out a little extra juice if they’d like.