When life gives you lemons…eat them!
With spring beginning to shed its light upon us, citrus can add that same magical brightness to our meals. To make meals ranging from tart to sweet, citrus is an ingredient that no one should live with out. It can be that one ingredient that you did not know you were originally missing! Here I am going to take you through an entire meal from appetizer to dessert using citrus every step of the way to add that pivotal pop.
For a light and springy appetizer, here is a gorgeous kale salad from “Cook, Eat, Share” that will be a delicious and healthy start to your citrus-laden meal.
Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Orange and Pine Nuts
1 bunch kale leaves, stems and tough sections removed
1 cup pomegranate arils
2 navel oranges
1/4 cup pine nuts
For the Dressing
Reserved juice from the oranges, or about 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut or tear kale into bite-sized pieces and place in a large zip-top bag. Cut the segments out of the oranges over a bowl to catch the juice. Once you have the segments cut out, make sure to squeeze the remaining juice out of the membranes. Save all the juice for the dressing. Place orange segments in a large serving bowl.
- To the orange juice, add white wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk with a fork or small whisk and pour into the Ziploc bag with the kale. Close the bag, squeezing the air out. Massage the kale with the dressing for 1-2 minutes and then pour it into the serving bowl with the orange segments. Add pomegranate arils and toss everything together.
- Toast pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat, tossing or stirring continuously until golden brown (it doesn’t take long — don’t walk away!). Remove them from the pan and put them on a plate to cool. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts over salad just prior to serving.
Not only does this recipe incorporate the orange in its fullest form as whole segments sporadically spaced among the lush kale leaves, but also as a vivacious flavor added to the dressing as flavor-packed juice. This double usage of citrus will not let you down, but may just double your happiness and brighten your day!
For a mouth-watering and tangy main course, here is a pesto recipe from “Four Winds Growers” that will certainly take your taste buds on a lemon-filled ride.
Meyer Lemon Pistachio Pesto
1 Meyer Lemon
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup shelled pistachio nuts
- Boil water for the pasta
- Slice the Meyer lemon into ¼” rounds. Remove seeds. Remove skin from garlic.
- Place garlic and pistachios in food processor. Pulse until coarsely ground. Add whole lemon, including skin and flesh. Blend until homogenous.
- Place pasta in boiling water with salt and olive oil. Cook until al dente or tender.
- Drain the pasta, place in warmed serving dish reserving ¼ – ½ cup of pasta water liquid.
- Immediately pour ¼ cup of pasta water over ingredients in food processor. Blend briefly, adding more liquid to obtain a creamy consistency. Serve pesto over warm pasta. Serves 2-4.
This pasta dish is a hearty main meal that makes perfect use of the sour and tangy lemon (especially if you are like me, and douse your pasta in parmesan cheese).
Recipe Courtesy of “Four Winds Growers.”
To close out a meal that is overflowing with citrus flavor, here is Paula Deen’s simultaneously sweet and tart key lime pie.
Bubba’s Key Lime Pie
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 -1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. For the crust: Combine ingredients and pat down into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. For the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the milk, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon zest; blend in the egg yolks. Pour the filling into the crust.
4. For the meringue: Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and zest until the mixture is stiff. Spread the meringue over the filling; spread it to touch the edge of the crust all around. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen, Food Network.
Orange, lemon, or lime, squeezed, pulsed, grated or whole, I hope you enjoy this citrus trifecta!