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Going Citrus

January 23, 2014 | by Elizabeth Kurtz

Grapefruits, oranges and lemons, oh my! Recipes that celebrate wonderful, fresh, and zesty citrus flavors.

It’s citrus season, so it’s time to make recipes that celebrate wonderful, fresh, and zesty citrus flavors. Grapefruits, oranges and lemons are inexpensive, available in all markets and easy to pair with other foods. I’ve included a few great recipes with citrus but also wanted to share a few quick tips and great uses for citrus fruits:

  • Segment it and eat it plain! Remove the peel and white pith from the grapefruit or orange. Over a small bowl, gently make a slice close to the membrane/segment or section, then a slice close to the opposite membrane. The fruit should separate easily. Place the bright segment in a dish and serve it up.
  • Line a plate with arugula or romaine lettuce. Place slices of grapefruit and orange segments on top. Now add fennel, radish, and tomatoes. Drizzle it with a bit of grapefruit juice, and olive oil and sprinkle it with kosher salt.
  • Stir in the zest into cookie, pancake, muffin or cake batter. It gives it brightness and freshness.
  • Mix orange and lemon zest, and juice (about 3 tablespoons) with 1 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons olive oil and glaze it on chicken. Roast it up in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour.
  • Do your hands smell or onions and garlic? Citrus juice is the best hand freshener and removes all the smell with a fresh and natural scent. Under warm water, rub citrus fruit, both peel and fruit all over your hands. Dry them up and inhale the freshness.

Citrusy Pasta Salad

Serves 10

Orange Oil

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 orange, zested


  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 pound orzo or shell pasta
  • 1 orange
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For the orange oil, combine the olive oil and the orange zest in a small bowl. Set aside.

For the salad: In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until tender but firm, about 11 minutes. Drain pasta and cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, segment orange and grapefruit over the bowl, reserving juice and pieces. Add onion, mint, basil, Dijon mustard, salt pepper and pasta.

Add reserved orange oil and toss together.

Halibut with Fennel Grapefruit Slaw

Halibut with Fennel Grapefruit SlawServes 4

Original recipe by Giada De Laurentis adapted by GKC

I make this often for a Passover day Yom Tov meal. Its light and refreshing and grapefruits are still so good this time of year. If you do not like fennel, use lettuce, cabbage, or arugula. It is also nice with Mahi Mahi or any other firm white fish.

  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit segments (about 2 grapefruits)
  • 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pitted nicoise olives, halved, or other good quality olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 (6-ounce) pieces halibut
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In small bowl combine the grapefruit segments, juice, and zest. Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise, thinly slice and add to the bowl. Add the olive oil, olives, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

Meanwhile, place the fish on a parchment-lined roasting dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness.

Gently transfer the fish to a serving plate. Top with the grapefruit and fennel salsa and serve immediately.

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Serves 6

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons white grape juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 large butter lettuce leaves
  • 3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, thinly sliced, rinsed under cold water
  • 3 large Ruby Red grapefruits, all peel and white pith cut away, segments cut from between membranes

Whisk grape juice, vinegar, lemon juice and shallots in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in both oils. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange lettuce on platter. Top with avocado and grapefruit, then dressing.

Grilled (or Baked) Lemon and Zaatar Chicken

Grilled (or Baked) Lemon and Zaatar ChickenZ’aatar spice is available in the spice aisle in most national supermarkets and also in Middle Eastern markets. I use it on salmon too.

Serves 8

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons zaatar spice
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 pieces of chicken
  • 2 lemons, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, cut into thick slices

Whisk together oil, zaatar, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Heat grill (or the oven to 375 degrees) to medium (350° to 450°). Grill chicken, skin side down, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes; watch for flare-ups and move chicken to a cooler spot if needed. Turn chicken and grill until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Grill lemon wedges and onion in last few minutes, turning once, until grill marks appear on the lemon and the onions are cooked through. Serve with chicken.

Alternatively, cook chicken in the oven for about 50 minutes or until it is cooked through. Baste it after about 30 minutes and make sure you squeeze the baked or grilled lemons on the chicken before serving.

Strawberry, Orange and Honey Sorbet

Strawberry, Orange and Honey SorbetMakes 6 servings

  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • ¼ cup orange juice concentrate, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, optional
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/3 cup honey

In a blender combine apple juice, strawberries, orange juice, orange liqueur, zest and honey. Puree until smooth. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour puree into a shallow dish and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and blend again. Refreeze until ready to serve.


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