It’s a real day-brighter to wander around a muddy, bare-branch backyard and discover your orange tree—dark green leaves, (and thorns) filled with glowing orange fruit amongst them. Being able to walk up to a backyard citrus tree and pick just one orange is a joy that isn’t shared with the snowy Midwest—it’s the thing of California. One more reason to be so proud of myself for choosing to live here.
Although oranges do not continue to ripen or are not sweet after picking, they can easily be kept on the tree for three or four months after ripening. A mature tree produces lots of fruit! After picking up a quart of orange juice and bags for soccer practice—oh, and a bowl of oranges on the kitchen table because they’re so beautiful, what do you do with your bountiful harvest?
We loved this recipe from Martha Stewart—served with brown rice, but couscous or quinoa would work, too. A tart green salad with roasted citrus, arugula, and avocado went great with it and used even more oranges. No scurvy in our house!
Roasted Chicken with Dates, Citrus, Olives
Squeeze roasted citrus juices over the final dish before serving for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
- 10 pieces assorted chicken thighs and legs
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 orange, quartered, plus 1/2 cup fresh juice (from 2 to 3 oranges)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 12 large soft dates, such as medjool or khadravi, halved and peeled
- 3 generous sprigs thyme
- 1 cup large green olives, such as serignola
guidelines: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, season chicken with salt and pepper; Drizzle with oil. Squeeze lemons and oranges over chicken, then add fruit to pan. Add wine, orange juice, halved dates and oregano. Fry for 25 minutes.
Remove pan from oven; If the chicken pieces are browning unevenly, turn them. Add olives and remaining dates. Roast until thermometer inserted into chicken breast (avoiding bone) registers 160°, about 15 minutes more. Take out the chicken and citrus in a plate.
Squeeze roasted citrus over chicken and serve with betel juice.
gluten free clementine cake
I wanted to know about this next recipe for Clementine Cakes that uses whole clementines in the batter and no flour. Clementine is the smallest type of mandarin orange. Super sweet, they are seedless and have reddish-orange skins that are smooth and shiny. The mandarins you see in grocery stores, called halos, cuties, and sweeties, are clementines. They are easier to peel than tangerines, but not as easy to peel as satsuma.
- 1-pound clementines, about 4 to 6 clementines
- 6 eggs, large
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 1/3 cups almond flour, (ground almonds)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
cake instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and line a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with parchment–butter the parchment.
Wash the clementines and poke them with the knife every 3 or 4 times. Put the clementines in a microwave-safe cover or bowl with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes. Cool slightly, then put whole clementines, skin and all, in food processor and process until smooth.
In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until lightly colored and doubled in volume (about 5 minutes), add chopped clementines, and mix well. Then add ground almonds and baking powder and mix.
Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes (when a skewer comes out clean). Cool on rack in pan. After the cake has cooled, remove from the pan and skim off any parchment. Glaze and add candied clementines to decorate
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp clementine juice
- 1 teaspoon clementine zest
glaze instructionsMake a glaze by mixing powdered sugar and juice. Drizzle over cake and garnish with clementine zest.
- 3 – 4 clementines
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
Candied Clementine Instructions: Slice the clementines very thin. Put sugar and water in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Stir till the sugar dissolves.
Add the clementine slices and simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove clementines from sugar mixture and place on parchment or silt until cool. Arrange on top of glazed cake.
Note: If you don’t want glaze, simply dust with powdered sugar. Almond meal and almond flour are interchangeable. Almond meal is made from the husks of almonds, almonds are used in almond flour. Almond flour makes a more fluffy cake that will rise more than one made with almond meal. Nigella Lawson’s original recipe, modified by Kathy Merenda and me.
Roasted Citrus and Avocado Salad
Baking the citrus on high heat causes the sugar to caramelize and increase the depth. It’s just a matter of bringing intrigue to salads and more. Recipe by Alison Roman for Epicurious.
- 1 blood or Valencia orange, sliced 1/8-inch thick, seeds removed
- 1 Meyer or regular lemon, sliced 1/8-inch thick, seeds removed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer or regular lemon juice
- 1 bunch hyacinth or arugula, thick stems trimmed
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 avocado, sliced into wedges
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss orange and lemon slices with 1 Tbsp oil on rimmed baking sheet; Season with salt and pepper. Roast citrus, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned in spots and beginning to caramelize, 10–15 minutes. This makes the citrus flavor more complex. let cool.
Meanwhile, combine onion and lemon juice in a large bowl; Season with salt and pepper and let sit 5 minutes (onions will become slightly softer and slightly sweeter and less hard).
Toss Roasted Citrus with Arugula and Mint with Onions. Drizzle over remaining 3 tablespoons oil; Season with salt and pepper and toss everything to combine and coat.
Add avocado and toss very gently until lightly dressed (you don’t want to crush the avocado).
January nights are cold outside. Stay inside, be comfortable, learn about an orange or two like Cara Cara or Valencia, keep an eye out for the Snow Goose Festival starting January 27, and the Olympics in early February. Take off the mask and show COVID who is the boss.