Citrus Fruit Ideas to Brighten the Winter Blues

citrus caprese

It’s the beginning of a new year and as I look forward to spring I must admit one of the things I do like about winter is all the beautiful citrus that is available. Maybe it’s the way it makes you feel after over indulging during the holidays, it’s fresh, bright and very healthy for you, and who doesn’t need a good dose of vitamin C during these cold winter days.citrus

Every time I go food shopping I fill my cart with orange citrus, my three favorite varieties are navel, Cara Cara and blood oranges, each have a unique and special flavor on their own and I love to mingle them together.citrus caprese

While I patiently wait for my summer tomato caprese salad, this winter caprese has become my cold weather favorite.

You don’t need a recipe, just layer your favorite sliced oranges with fresh mozzarella, just like you would a tomato caprese. Lay it all on a bed of arugula with an optional sliced red onion ring in between.

 

The dressing is simply fresh squeezed orange citrus juice that is whisked with good olive oil, ( you could add a little white balsamic or champagne vinegar to the mix if you wish) the bitterness of the arugula against the sweetness of the orange and the creaminess of the fresh mozzarella is the perfect combination, especially when the dressing mingles all over it.citrus slicescitrus and fennelcitrus salad

I’ve been making a few other citrus salads as well, one has sliced oranges with fennel, red onion, creamy avocado, a little bit of arugula and toasted hazelnuts.

 

The other one is a huge bunch of arugula, orange slices and toasted hazelnuts, I love the bitter with the sweet. Both are simple to put together and they compliment any protein you might be eating, I especially love it with fish and seafood.citrus with crab cakes

On New Years Day I made this salad along with crab cakes, they complimented each other perfectly with the richness of the crab and the brightness of the citrus.citrus salsa

Citrus in the form of salsa is outrageously good, make it like you would any other salsa only with various varieties of orange segments, chopped jalapeno, cilantro or parsley, red onion and a drizzle of olive oil.

citrus salsa

The salsa’s are wonderful to top off scallops, shrimp, salmon, whitefish, basically any fish, plus it’s light and healthy something we all need after the holidays.citrus with cod

Here’s a one pan meal that is so delicious and it will surely brighten a cold winter day, my baked cod with blood orange, fennel and olives.
citrus with cod

Citrus fruits are not only refreshing they actually make you feel better, there must be a reason why these sunny fruits are available during the darkest time of the year. How many more days til spring?

Follow me on Instagram to see some of the other things I’m cooking up during the week.

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Herb and Citrus Roasted Chicken

herb and citrus chicken I know I’m posting this on Meatless Monday, but save it for another day, a midweek meal or even a special occasion, it’s that good, it’s simple to make and the bright colored citrus makes it look elegant and pretty!

It’s filled with juicy fresh lemons and oranges, lots of garlic and herbs and when roasted together the flavors are divine!

herb and citrus chicken I found this recipe on Pinterest and was instantly drawn to it, you can use a whole cut up chicken, other chicken parts or you can adapt the recipe like I did using just the breasts, either way it’s bullet- proof!

herb and citrus chicken The citrus juice mingles perfectly with the olive oil, garlic and herbs, a nice bright dish on a cold winter day!

herb and citrus chicken 

Herb and Citrus Roasted Chicken
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bone in, skin on chicken breasts, or other chicken parts
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 whole lemons, one juiced and one sliced
  • 2 whole oranges, one juiced and one sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, dried
  • 1 teaspoon , garlic or onion powder
  • red pepper flakes, a good pinch
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • fresh thyme and rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, honey, lemon and orange juice,dried seasoning,paprika, red pepper flakes, onion or garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken into a baking dish and pour mixture on top turning to coat all sides, at this point you can let it marinate for a little while if you have the time for even more flavor infusion.
  4. Arrange the sliced citrus and onion all around and underneath the chicken.
  5. Place fresh thyme and rosemary throughout and a good drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Roast uncovered for about an hour or until juices run clear and chicken is fully cooked.

 

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SAVORY RICOTTA BUNDLES WRAPPED IN PANCETTA!!

First I have to say, this it not my recipe, I discovered this little gem while sipping on a latte at Borders bookstore and looking through the latest Donna Hay magazine. She had a whole section on ricotta, which really interested me. I never did purchase the magazine, but I definitely made a mental note of these. They are very easy to make, so refreshing and light!! I have been craving something citrus so I knew just the thing to pair it with! Now I don’t quite remember the name Ms. Hay gave these, ( you’ll have to check out the magazine). But to me they are little ricotta bundles,so savory and so good!!! If you’re looking for a light lunch or dinner ( and you love ricotta!) you got to try these. And whats really nice, you can make a whole bunch, keep them in the frig, all you have to do is warm them slightly in the microwave. When they’re warmed all the flavors come out.

Simply mix about 1lb or more of ricotta, with 1 cup of Parmesan, (I used Romano) 1 egg, I added some lemon peel, salt and pepper. That’s it!!

Next take a muffin tin, sprayed with oil and line it with 1 piece of Pancetta, scoop the ricotta mixture on top. Bake at 350 degreesF for about 30 min. or until set and golden.
I placed them into a salad mixed with Romaine and Arugula, whipped up a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing to pour on top, and then topped it off with some toasted pine nuts.

Give them a try, if you’re craving something light and refreshing!

Buon Appetito!!!

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