Orange you glad it’s winter?
The biggest mistake you can make with citrus? Not stocking up on it! And right now, you have no excuse… oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, naartjies, minneolas and everyone’s favourite – ClemenGold™ – are in steady supply this time of year. Make the most of winter fruit with these expert tips.
1. Store it in the fridge
A big bowl of citrus adds cheer to any kitchen counter but the experts suggest you’re better off storing it in the fridge if you’re not going to devour it pretty quickly – refrigeration helps the fruit retain moisture. To avoid fungus growth, be sure to keep citrus dry (take it out of the bag before refrigerating) and not squashed together. Bring to room temperature before eating or juicing.
2. Juice it… with a fork
No bulky, expensive machinery needed to extract that zingy nectar for use in sauces, dressings and marinades. The trick? Roll the fruit on a hard surface first to get the juices flowing. Cut in half, move a fork up and down with one hand while squeezing the fruit with the other (do this over a strainer to catch the pips).
3. Segment it like a pro
Your secret weapon in segmenting is a super-sharp (mind your fingers), non-serrated knife. Cut a decent piece away from each end of the fruit and stand it upright on a chopping board. Follow the shape of the fruit as you cut downward in strips to remove the peel and pithy bits. Hold the peeled fruit in your hand and cut into each segment on both sides to remove.
4. Add it after cooking
Citrus adds amazing zing to sauces, soups, stews, stir-fries… just add it once you’ve removed your pot or pan from the heat to avoid the citrus discolouring and taking on a bitter flavour.
5. Grate it as you go
We’re all for prepping ahead, but if your recipe calls for citrus zest, you’re better off grating right before you need to add it. Grated citrus peel will dry out and lose flavour if it hangs around for too long.
6. Be wary of dairy
A squeeze of citrus works well to lighten up creamy sauces, but too much will cause dairy to curdle (#fail).
7. Up the acidity
When combined with citrus, sweet vinegars like apple cider, rice- and white wine vinegar balance out tartness and really pack a flavour punch (salad will never be the same once you’ve tried lemony apple cider vinaigrette, promise).