Yet More Citrus

More pruning in the garden has resulted in (yet) more citrus. I can hear several of you now telling me that it is impossible to keep up with such a large crop. And, yes, you are absolutely right. But, sometimes it is difficult to stop. So, when presented with several buckets and a crate that consisted entirely bitter oranges of various sizes, I went into action.

cropped_nerantiziaHaircut

In a previous post (Bitter), I mentioned that the majority of the orange trees in our Athens garden were bitter oranges, called nerantzia, but are botanically the same as Seville or Marmalade oranges. They have a longer season than the other citrus in the garden, in theory giving me a bit more time to think up ways of using them (unless the trees are pruned, that is). So, after processing several batches of the obligatory marmalade and making even more batches of (addictive) chocolate covered candied peel using the larger bitter oranges, I thought it might be time to explore uses for bitter Sevilles using the small ones. Most were juiced for freezing to make a Seville orange curd or a Seville orange ice cream. A few ended up mixed in with apples and onions in a chutney. I’m still letting the chutney mature, awaiting the results of that experiment, but early tastings bode well. 

small_bitter_oranges

Lastly, a much smaller amount was used to make bitter orange mayonnaise. However, after numerous failures trying to reproduce an earlier success, I abandoned the experiment in an effort not to waste any more eggs and oil. I resorted to a bitter orange vinegarette. A much better (and easily reproducable) choice.

broccoli_orange_salad

Broccoli and Orange Salad with Bitter Orange Vinaigrette
I read somewhere that broccoli and orange is a traditional flavour combination in parts of Germany. Although, the combination of orange and thin sliced raw fennel is equally good. We have had the vinairgrette with both vegetables.

Vinaigrette
Bitter orange juice benefits from a bit of sweetener. This makes enough for several salads.

  • 50ml bitter orange juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 -2 Tablespoons honey (depending on the bitterness of your oranges)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped or snipped fresh chives (optional)

In a jar, combine all of the ingredients. Shake until emulsified. Store in refrigerator and shake again before use.

Salad

  • 1 large head of broccoli 
  • 2 large sweet oranges
  • 2-3 Tablespoons bitter orange vinaigrette

Clean and cut the florets from the broccoli. Steam or place the broccoli in the microwave for a few minutes until al dente. Drain and put into a salad bowl while still warm, but not hot. Cut the oranges top and bottom and cut the peel away. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the segments free of the separating membrane over the salad bowl to catch the juices. Dress with a little of the vinaigrette. Toss the ingredients together, add salt (if needed) and serve.

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7 comments

  1. Your bitter orange harvest seems to be the gift that keeps giving. Love the sound of the choc coated candied orange rinds. I often make a vinaigrette similar to your recipe using lemon juice so I imagine with was delicious. Now I need to try the broccoli/orange pairing.

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    • Hopefully the harvest is nearing an end! The broccoli salad was good, but we also tried it with raw sliced fennel. I think our personal tastes tend towards the fennel version. The candied peel has also made a big hit here. I’ve also candied (and chocolate coated) the pomelo rind with a surprising and delicious result. I’ve been handing out little packets of the stuff to all the staff. Marmalade making (again) today.

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    • Thanks Glenda. This first year I am full of optimism that I can find uses for the whole crop. Next year, who knows? Luckily the radical pruning might mean a reduced crop. The trees had not been touched in years and they needed it.

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  2. Your bounty of Seville oranges reminds me of the bountiful crops we used to have in our old house ( pre-fire) and like you, I was always devising ways to use them up. You have come up with some very creative uses indeed.

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  3. Lucky you to have all these oranges! Your orange dressing is a favorite of mine I use frequently even with other fruit with the greens. Womenlivinglifeafter50.com

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  4. For someone in my climate, it’s mind-boggling to read of having so much citrus in one’s back yard! Then again, many of your countrymen probably feel the same way about a yard covered by a foot of snow. Frankly, Debi, I’ll take the citrus any day. 🙂

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