Spring is finally upon us and we’re loving it! Nothing says spring more than bright colors, fresh flavors, and yummy food. Citrus is the perfect way to add brightness and bring life to any dish, dessert or main course.
Keep reading for some tips and tricks on how to use these bright, fresh fruits.
THE BASICS: Zest, Pith, & Flesh
All citrus fruits have three main parts: the zest, pith, and flesh. Each different part has it’s own benefits when it comes to cooking, including:
- Zest: the colorful outer skin of the fruit. Has an extreme amount of aroma and flavor.
- Pith: thin, white layer that sits just underneath that zest. Protects the fruit, but has a very bitter flavor. You normally want to avoid the pith when cooking.
- Flesh: the tasty part inside of the citrus where all of the juice and sweetness of the fruit comes from.
Selecting and Storing
Choose fruits that feel firm and are heavy for their size, a sign of juiciness. Avoid ones with blemishes or soft spots. Most citrus fruits can be stored at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks. They will be juicier and sweeter if brought to room temperature before serving.
Dry and candy the peels. Cook both sections and skins down into marmalade for smearing on toast, or preserve halves and quarters in salt to add a burst of flavor to stews and braises later. There are so many good parts to citrus- don’t waste any!
Careful With Dairy
A squeeze of fresh citrus into a cream-based sauce will lighten things up, but squeeze in too much and the dairy will curdle. This is the process in which cheese is made. Keep things creamy and be careful, don’t be too heavy handed with the citrus!
The citrus oils in the zest are extremely strong. One to two teaspoons of the zest and you can turn a plain vanilla cake into a yummy, fresh lemon/orange/grapefruit treat!
ALWAYS Have On Hand
One of the biggest citrus mistakes home cooks make is not having the produce on hand. Citrus can be used in just about any dish and can completely transform it. Whether you have lemons, limes, or kumquats, they are guaranteed to freshen up your flavors.
Keep bananas, peaches, and apple slices looking fresh by squeezing any type of citrus juice on top. Use lemon juice on cut avocados, potatoes and artichokes.
A healthy alternative to store bought salad dressings and marinades is to make them at home. Replace the oil or vinegar component of the dressing with citrus for a bright, fresh dressing or marinade.
Take advantage of fresh citrus with your Magimix Food Processor! Use the food processor to mince peels for tasty recipes and the juice extractor attachment to easily juice your favorite citrus fruits.