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  • The Chopping Blog

Citrus Season is Upon Us

Laura S
Posted by Laura S on Jan 3, 2024
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Now that Christmas is packed away and all of the debates about the best ways to cook a turkey are done, we can all finally focus on the most important food holiday of the winter months: the dawn of citrus season. Blood oranges, clementines, pomelos, grapefruits, lemons, Sumatra oranges—you name it, I’m buying it. Maybe it’s that I haven’t seen the sun in six weeks. Maybe it’s that my body is craving vitamin C. Maybe it’s the staggering amount of processed sugars I’ve consumed in the month of December. But by the time the holidays wind down and citrus season kicks off, I’m the first one lined up to fill my grocery cart with every varietal I can get my hands on.

Unfortunately, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I love snacking on a perfectly ripe orange, ripping off the peels, reveling in the fact that my hands will smell of citrus for the rest of the day. In the same way that biting into a fresh peach signals that summer has peaked, tasting the juice from a fresh orange segment is a ritual that I crave in the colder months. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate citrus into my winter meals, from salads to desserts to snacks. 

1. Make a citrus salad!

I love a salad that’s full of unexpected textures and tastes, especially in the winter months when salads can be so blah. Probably once a week during the winter, I make a citrus-based salad to shake things up. Use sliced, peeled citrus as a base, then add textures like roasted nuts or seeds, fresh herbs, and thinly sliced hard cheeses to build up your salad. Keep the dressings to a minimum to let the sharp citrus shine. 

2. Grill it up.

Missing the summer months where every dinner was grilled? I hear you. Fire up that grill hanging out on your porch or whip out your grill pan to give citrus a new taste. Just cut your citrus of choice in half, brush with olive oil, and then grill until lightly charred. You can also do this with thick slices—just be careful not to lose them between the grates. From there, you can top your citrus halves with ice cream or use the charred citrus in other recipes, like risotto, pastas, or braises. Want more gourmet cooking ideas? Join The Chopping Block for a gastropub cooking class!

3. Make it a simple dessert.

Citrus dessertsCitrus and chocolate are a match made in heaven. With the freshest, juiciest oranges at my disposal, my go-to dessert is segments of peeled orange and high-quality dark chocolate. That’s it! That’s the dessert. Put them together on a plate and let the simplicity of the season shine. 

4. Stir up a mocktail or cocktail.

Citrus mocktailHave a ton of citrus peels sitting around from all of these great ideas? Make a simple syrup with the peels to preserve that flavor. Just simmer the peels with equal parts sugar and water and let the flavors infuse. Stir about an ounce into sparkling water for a delicious mocktail or add a shot of your liquor of choice for a nice, fresh cocktail. Learn some fun cocktail recipes with The Chopping Block, and get mixing!

The Chopping Block also has a brand new class to celebrate citrus this February. Join us for Hands-On Winter Citrus: Tangy and Tempting. You'll learn new ways to use citrus as you make:

  • Roasted Kumquat and Grapefruit Salad with Kale, Fennel and Toasted Almonds 
  • Duck a l'Orange (Sautéed Duck Breasts with Blood Orange Gastrique)
  • Roasted Potatoes with Preserved Lemons and Roasted Garlic 
  • Lemon-Lime Bars with Graham Cracker Crust 

Register now


Topics: lemon, orange, winter, lime, citrus, grapefruit

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