Farmers Market: Mouthwatering Winter Citrus

CLEMENTINES

sweet, juicy, easy to peel and almost always seedless

cross between a mandarin and sweet orange

sweeter than many oranges (less acid), making it one of the most popular citrus for snacking

in season: november-january

side note: nicknamed the “christmas orange”  because clementine season is very short and typically peaks around…you guessed it, christmas

 

CARA CARA

perfect balance of sweet and tart

look for a slight pinkish blush rind and medium-sized fruit rather than huge, which can be dry

in season: december-april

side note: these are my absolute favorite of all the citrus and not just because the name is fun to say out loud

 

KUMQUATS

tiny, tart and delicious, you can eat these whole – rind, seed, everything

in season: november-march

side note: cutest in the citrus family

 

RUBY RED GRAPEFRUIT

mostly grown in texas

sweeter and juicer than other types

in season: october-april

side note: wait until you try our saint ruby cocktail –available at all locations soon….texas friends, you know what i’m talking about

 

BLOOD ORANGE

beautiful crimson fruit/juice inside, sweet and tender, great for cocktails

in season: december- april

side note: juice these and add to your fav margarita recipe- so. friggin. good.

 

TANGERINE

cousin to the clementine, small, not as sweet as the clementine and seedy

 in season: october-january

 side note: all though it sounds like i have something against tangerines, i swear i don’t

 

 POMELO

pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh

tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit

in season: fall- april

 

MEYER LEMON

rounder than a true lemon, skin is fragrant and thin

color appears a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe

taste sweeter, less acidic then true lemons

in season: december- may

side note: my mama grows these at home and they are just divine – i eat them straight, great for salads and desserts

   
  
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    These ombré hued blood oranges were grown on a private farm in Malibu, California. Photo by Chef Sarah Hendrix

These ombré hued blood oranges were grown on a private farm in Malibu, California. Photo by Chef Sarah Hendrix

On a non citrus-related note: Have you guys heard of Print Guest? This rad photo above is being featured right now- along with a couple of other awesome images. They offer poster prints of images created by Instagrammers who inspire them. So cool, right? Check it out at PrintGuest.com

words by (self proclaimed citrus enthusiast) R. Simms

Thanksgiving Side Dish Idea No. 1

Chef Gabe’s Brussels Sprouts

(6 portions)

Shop List:

1 lb Brussels Sprouts

2 fl oz Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup Lemon Juice

2 T Capers

4 T Romano cheese grated

1 cup Housemade Croutons

·        2 cups of French Bread, cut into 1” cubes

·        2 T. Olive oil

·        ¼ tsp Italian Seasonings

·        ¼ tsp Garlic powder

·        ¼ tsp Salt

Brussels Sprouts Recipe

1.     Clean the Brussels sprouts and trim the bottom. Cut them in half vertically. 

2.     Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt. Roast in a preheated 450 degree oven until slightly charred. About 12 minutes.

3.     Place toasted croutons in the bottom of the serving dish you are using.

4.     Transfer cooked Brussels sprouts to a mixing bowl and toss with garlic, lemon juice, capers, cheese and salt until everything looks evenly coated.  

5.     Pour the contents of the bowl over your croutons and enjoy.

Croutons Recipe

1.      Toss bread with seasonings and oil.

2.      Place single layer on baking tray.

3.      Place in preheated 325 degree oven.

4.      Bake for 10-15 minutes until light golden brown and crispy.


Recipe by Chef Gabe Caliendo, Lazy Dog Restaurant + Bar

 

Make Your Own Flake Sea Salt

This might be the coolest thing I've ever done. People have been doing it for thousands and thousands of years. It's not something new or trendy or cutting edge. It's literally prehistoric.  

Sea Salt.

The result of evaporated seawater. Basically, Sodium Chloride.  

Did you know that much of the salt you see today labeled as "sea salt" does not actually come from the sea? As long as it meets the FDA's purity requirements, there is a loop hole that allows people to label their product as "sea salt". Not cool... right?

Before I go any further I need to give a HUGE THANKS to Chef Gabe of Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, for inviting me out on his boat and giving me an inside look into the world of sea salt production. Gabe...you da man! 

Here is a look at how the process went. 

Step One: Collect Seawater

We met Gabe down at his boat in Dana Point Harbor where we promptly made some strong Bloody Marys (complete with celery seed from Gabe's garden) and headed out to sea.

We met a couple seals,  made friends with some dolphins, and caught a glimpse of a baby whale all in the first hour.

He took us a couple of miles off shore where the underwater shelf dropped off and the seawater was pure and clear as glass (thanks

to the California Current that runs along the western coast of North America). Once there, he filled a 5 gallon bucket with water...mission accomplished. 

Silly me forgot to bring along a bucket for myself so I found a couple of empty smart water bottles in my car when we got back to the harbor and filled three of them (totaling about 3/4 gallon). I couldn't believe how clear the water was - it looked just like drinking water.

 

Step Two: Evaporation

 

I poured the seawater into a large pot and turned the heat to medium-high. Keep the water temperature around 175 degrees, under boiling temperature so that your water is evaporating at a slow, steady rate. After a couple of hours you will notice that your water is starting to appear cloudy - you can actually see the salt - and keep reducing until your seawater resembles a cornstarch slurry - thick and white. Place your seawater brine into a shallow dish or pan and let the sun do the rest of the work. 

 

Cover it with plastic wrap (poke a few holes so it doesn't get steamy in there) and place it in a sunny spot. After a few days it will be completely dry. Be patient. 

Step Three: Store it 

Store your salt and get ready to use it for finishing all of your favorite dishes.  Have some fun with it...sprinkle a bit on Burrata with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil ...or on top of homemade semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies...options are limitless. 

Note: My 102  liquid ounces of seawater yielded just under 5 oz of sea salt (by weight) and about 1 full cup of sea salt (by volume). It doesn't take much seawater to produce a nice amount of salt that will last you quite a while considering how potent it is and that you will really only be using it for finishing. Pretty rad to say the least.


Words + Photography by Sarah Hendrix // La Femme Epicure

Sarah is a private chef, food stylist and culinary consultant living in Los Angeles. She is a native Californian with an old soul and a serious knack for all things food, wine, and entertaining. She lives for all things pretty and delicious and has a strong belief in sourcing seasonally and locally with a personal mantra of quality over quantity. Her favorite things include handwritten love notes,  paying it forward,  farmer's markets, herb gardens, wine making, wine drinking, and long romantic walks to the fridge.