In Arizona, I grew up surrounded by miles of citrus trees; this time of year always makes me think of the fragrant blossoms that would perfume the perfectly cool evenings with their lovely floral scent.
I now live in a cooler climate, but am growing citrus trees in my kitchen non-the-less. My kitchen this winter has been heavenly as all my little trees have flowered and gifted me with their fragrance
and memories of a lovely childhood spent eating way too many lemons, climbing trees, creating forts and of course, getting sweet and sticky in the neighborhood orange fights.
Needless to say, I love all citrus and use it often in my cooking style. This dressing is one of my favorites.
It’s bright and light, yet full bodied with coconut undertones. It tastes great on salads, vegetables, chicken, shrimp, fish and pork.
And, of course it can always be tweaked to fit your palate.
As the winter months blow through our windows a little longer, bring a blast of sunshine and happiness into your kitchen with these cheerful citrus recipes.
All-purpose Citrus Dressing and Marinade
Makes about 2 cups
¼ cup lime juice (about 1 lime)
¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
½ cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons brown rice syrup OR 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 shallot clove, diced
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
2/3 cup oil, – I use melted coconut oil for dressing a salad and it’s delicious,
but for the marinade, I either omit or replace the coconut oil with grapeseed or olive oil.
Unfortunately for our meat, coconut oil will harden again in the fridge while marinating, it creates a funky problem…
Combine the citrus juices, vinegar, sugar, shallot and salt in a blender. Spin it up until smooth.
Add the coconut oil right before dressing a salad or add a different oil to marinate chicken, pork or fish.
Marinate fish for 20-30 minutes, pork and chicken for 2-6 hours.
If you are making this for a salad and would like to marinate meat at the same time, just reserve half for the marinade and half for the salad.
Ruby Red Grapefruit and Quinoa Citrus Salad
2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into pieces or use individual leaves for “cups”
½ red onion, diced
1-2 avocados, diced in chunks
2 ruby red grapefruit, supremed –sliced into segments without the skin or pith, then diced into bite- sized pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
Handful of toasted watermelon seeds (kernels), yes, you read this correctly…I found salted watermelon seeds in the
bins at my local organic grocery store next to sunflower seeds (kernels). They are wonderful!
1 red chili pepper, minced
½ cup orange juice
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
2/3 cup Citrus Dressing with coconut oil
Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove any residue of its bitter coating.
In a sauce pan, bring ½ cup orange juice and 2/3 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the rinsed quinoa and a pinch of salt. Bring it back to a boil,
then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the quinoa is translucent and you can see the white germ inside.
Depending on the texture you like “ chewy, al dente” vs. “soft, fluffy “there are two different paths to take at this point.
Al dente: Drain any leftover liquid in fine mesh strainer, return quinoa to the pan, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Fluffy: Continue to cook the quinoa on low until the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat, keep covered and allow to rest for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, slice and dice the salad components.
Blend the Citrus Dressing if you have not already done so.
Once the quinoa is cool, combine the salad ingredients and drizzle the citrus dressing on top.
To make it an appetizer, prepare the salad and serve in individual lettuce cups to eat easily with fingers in 1 to 2 bites.
To make it a meal, marinate chicken breasts cut into 1 inch slices for 1 hour in the fridge with the citrus marinade. Discard the marinade,
Sauté chicken over medium to medium high heat depending on your cook top until cooked through.
Add a little water to the pan if the citrus marinade coating the chicken is cooking – Er… potentially charring – before the chicken is done.
Keep the liquid in the pan loose.
Warm Grapefruit with Vanilla Sugar
Happily Serves 1
1 ruby red grapefruit
Sprinkle of vanilla sugar
In a toaster oven or regular oven, preheat the broiler option. Cut the grapefruit in half through the “equator”.
Cut around the segments, sprinkle on liberally and energetically, ( I wanna see it…) the vanilla sugar.
Place in the oven; broiling for a few minutes until the grapefruit segments look like they are bursting with goodness.
Stay close and watch carefully, it won’t take long. Remove from the oven and enjoy with warm apple cider.
2 cups sugar, I used evaporated cane juice, but good old fashioned white is great, too.
1 vanilla pod and fragrant seeds
In a jar with an air tight lid, combine 2 cups sugar with seeds and vanilla pod.
Give it a week or two before it’s loveliness is ready to be revealed; use and instantly improve any recipe needing sugar.
- ¼ cup lime juice (about 1 lime)
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons brown rice syrup OR 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 shallot clove, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2/3 cup oil, - I use melted coconut oil for dressing a salad and it’s delicious, but for the marinade, I either omit or replace the coconut oil with grapeseed or olive oil.
- Combine the citrus juices, vinegar, sugar, shallot and salt in a blender. Spin it up until smooth. Add the coconut oil right before dressing a salad or add a different oil to marinate chicken, pork or fish. Marinate fish for 20-30 minutes, pork and chicken for 2-6 hours. If you are making this for a salad and would like to marinate meat at the same time, just reserve half for the marinade and half for the salad.