One of the biggest and most welcome surprises of nature is that even in the middle of the freezing cold, it throws us a breath of fresh air. Just when we are chilled to our bones and longing for the warmth of summer, a walk in the market or supermarket hits our nostrils with a light flavourful note… citrus.
Whenever I smell citrus, I am transplanted back home to Jamaica. For some reason, I go back to my childhood visits to my grandparents in the country who had a wide variety of citrus trees all over acres of land. Grapefruits sweeet and sour, a weird looking one we call “Ugly” Valencia oranges, Navel oranges, Seville oranges, sweet small oranges, madarins,tangerines and the specially Jamaican graft- Ortanique. Ortanique is a cross between an orange and a tangerine which produces the most consistently sweet citrus with a very unique flavour. I think my memory of orange is strong because the fruit would hang low enough for me to pick as a child.
While citrus is available year round, they are at their seasonal best in winter. They are in the supermarket throughout the year but winter is when you will smell them. So needless to say, I got crazy happy in the supermarket when the smell of the oranges and madarins brought bright, uplifting thoughts.
Here is a great way to enjoy them at their best… in a salad combining 2 different oranges, pink grapefruit and madarins. This is a great way to start any day, but also a breakfast that sets the right tones for special celebrations on Valentine’s Day.
CHEF’S NOTES: Serve this with chopped mint and/or plain yogurt drizzled with honey. Segmenting the citrus makes a fancier presentation and releases all the juices and aromas of the fruits. We will give you a tutorial on How to Segment Citrus in our next post.