Of course oranges, lemons and limes have a permanent place in the produce aisle, but our citrus choices expand greatly during the month of January and through the late winter months: easy-to-peel mandarin oranges (sometimes called Clementines), ruby red grapefruit, marble-sized kumquats, fragrant Meyer lemons, scarlet-fleshed blood oranges and juicy Key limes are just some of the citrus fruits at their prime right now.
The challenge of choosing citrus is that you can’t always tell the quality of the fruit inside simply by looking at its outer peel. But, in general, choose fruit that’s heavy for its size and evenly colored with rind that is glossy and firm with no signs of shriveling. Citrus keeps for up to two weeks when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Fresh oranges, mandarins and grapefruit segments make delicious additions to salads – try any of them with fresh arugula tossed in a vinaigrette made with the juice of the citrus you’re using. And the minced zest is a great way to add intense citrus flavor to foods. Simply remove the colored outer layer of peel with a zesting tool or a vegetable peeler, taking care not to remove the bitter white pith underneath, then mince the zest with a knife before adding to salad dressings, cookie dough or cake batter.
Citrus is in season and these chicken recipes take full advantage of lemon’s tangy-tart flavor. Try one tonight!
Citrus is a great way to perk up the taste buds with tart flavor that’s bound to make any day seem brighter!