6 bold citrus recipes that taste like pure sunshine
We’ve gathered some of our favorite citrus-based recipes to beat the doldrums of winter.
When summer seems so far away, we can bring brightness and zest to our kitchens with citrus.
Citrus is what we crave in the cold days of winter. And it’s a good thing, because although it’s dreary here, huge grapefruits, Meyer lemons and mandarin oranges are being plucked from trees in Texas, Florida, South America and Mexico.
Winter recipes conjure ideas of steaming bowls of soup and comfort food casseroles, but we need something else. We need risotto covered in lemon zest, meats marinated in lime juice, fresh-squeezed orange juice and bright lemon bars so tart they make our mouths pucker.
So we’ve gathered some of our favorite citrus-based recipes to beat the doldrums of winter. Gathering your ingredients will be pretty easy, since you can find many citrus varieties at local grocery stores now.
Ethan Miller, produce manager at Whole Foods Market in Brookside, says citrus season kicks off in December, when big boxes of mandarins begin arriving.
“Citrus gets big and bold and bright in the winter,” Miller says.
Satsuma mandarins and clementines are the kickoff of Whole Foods’ citrus season. But the citrus customers most look forward to are the mandarins’ bigger cousins, the sumo mandarins.
Sumo mandarins are a cross between several citrus varieties, according to Miller. “People lose their minds when the sumos come in. They buy them by the box.”
This also is the season you’ll find large grapefruits out of Texas and California. Lemons and limes, while always available, will sometimes have even more flavor at peak season.
One interesting citrus variety Miller likes doesn’t actually have any pulp inside. Buddha’s Hand is an unusually shaped fruit, with finger-like sections coming from a base. No segments or juice can be extracted from it, but Miller says they’re often used for their aromatic zest or just as display.
Let the sunshine in with these recipes using big citrus flavor.
If you’re trying to eat more plant-based foods in the new year, this is a great option. If you’re eating beyond plant-based, serve it with pita bread and lemon-yogurt marinated chicken kabobs.
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 pinch salt
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, diced
¼ cup chopped green onions or chives
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, then fluff with a fork.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley and mint. Stir in cooled quinoa.
Citrus-marinated flank steak
Citrus becomes your best friend when used as a marinade. No ingredient adds flavor more boldly than fresh citrus juice.
Zest and juice of 3 oranges
Zest and juice of 3 limes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 ¼ pounds flank steak
In a large zip-close bag, combine orange juice, lime juice, zests, garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper. Add steak, seal bag and turn to coat with marinade. Marinate 1 hour and up to 8 hours in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat outdoor grill to high. Oil the grates to prevent meat from sticking. Discard marinade. Grill steak 5 minutes per side for medium, depending on the thickness of the steak. Remove steak from grill, and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Winter citrus salad with arugula
Here’s a salad that will make you forget winter.
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from ½ an orange
Salt and pepper
8 cups torn butter lettuce
8 cups arugula
2 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 blood orange, peeled and segmented
1 navel orange, peeled and segmented
4 ounces goat cheese
¼ cup chopped pistachios
In a small bowl, combine garlic, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and orange juice. Whisk until fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Toss butter lettuce and arugula with dressing. Divide among plates. Top with citrus, goat cheese, pistachios and dressing.
Whole Foods Market shared this recipe for a simple citrus smoothie.
1 red grapefruit
¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
½ cup ice cubes
Remove zest from orange and lemon; set aside.
Remove peel from orange, lemon and grapefruit, and segment fruits into pieces. Chop, and remove any seeds.
Place the fruits into a blender, and add half the orange and lemon zest, yogurt, honey and ice cubes. Blend until smooth and pour into two glasses; sprinkle with the remaining zest.
Citrus layer cake
Take a tender butter cake, add a load of lemon and a touch of orange, and you have a luscious, lemony cake perfect for any celebration.
8 egg yolks
¾ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour three (8-inch) cake pans or spray generously with nonstick spray.
Beat egg yolks at high speed with an electric mixer for 4 minutes or until thick and pale. Set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined. Add egg yolks, beating well.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture a cup at a time, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Spoon batter into cake pans.
Bake for 12-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire racks, and cool completely.
Spread with frosting between cake layers and on top. (Recipe follows.)
1 cup butter, softened
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
2 pounds (32-ounce package) powdered sugar
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in orange and lemon zests and juices. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until it’s a good consistency for spreading. You might need to add more citrus juice or powdered sugar, depending on thickness or thinness of frosting.
Where to get authentic ceviche in Tulsa
A skeptic might wonder if you could actually find good ceviche in Tulsa. Talking to Felipe Enciso leaves little doubt.
Enciso was born in a town outside of Lima, Peru, that holds claim to being the city where ceviche originated. He grew up eating ceviche — a dish of both enormous simplicity and complexity — which is raw fish mixed with what can be as few as one other ingredient: lime juice. Ceviche often also includes onions, peppers and sometimes corn, sweet potatoes or garlic.
When Enciso and his wife, Cecilia, opened their restaurant, Manos Peruanas, he knew there would be ceviche on the menu.
“Let me explain this. We make it good,” Enciso says. “This is not because I’m the owner of the restaurant. You can find good ceviche in Florida. And I’m proud to say we do it really, really good.”
There’s no doubt he knows the subject matter. Enciso says he ate ceviche at least twice a week growing up in Peru.
He won’t give up his tricks, but Enciso will say he uses sea bass and imported Peruvian lemons.
“That’s the trick. If you use a lime from here, it’s not going to taste the same,” he says.
Many people come to Manos Peruanas, 6703 E. 81st St., for ceviche and other Peruvian dishes. The restaurant also has dishes from Venezuela and Colombia.
Ceviche, though, isn’t as popular with customers in the cold winter months. It’s at this time customers crave the Encisos’ shrimp soup, chupe de camarones. But at the first sign of sunshine, customers begin asking for the ceviche.
Citrus juices as part of a healthy lifestyle
“We literally can’t get enough citrus,” says Joy Hulver with Ediblend Superfood Cafe.
With locations at Utica Square and in south Tulsa at East 101st Street and South Sheridan Road, Ediblend makes juices and smoothie blends to order and has refrigerated cases of juices ready to go.
And many of those juices are loaded with citrus. “We definitely use a ton of citrus in our blends because of its immunity-boosting powers,” Hulver says.
She says customers also appreciate blends with citrus for the soluble fiber, which aids in digestion and keeps you full and more satisfied.
One of the most popular juices at Ediblend is the Tropical Orange, a pretty blend of orange, carrot, pineapple, apple, ginger, dates and coconut water.
Those seeking citrus also will like the Lemon Zinger, a bright yellow blend of lemons, cayenne pepper and agave. Or, try the hydrating signature blend, the 1717, with orange, banana, strawberries, dates and filtered water.
Anyone who has tasted Ediblend’s popular Detox Green knows it also has a burst of lemon, which Hulver says is a great detoxifier.