How To Use All That Winter Citrus
In Florida, and all across the country, the freshest local produce that you can find is citrus fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges. While citrus is popular all year long, the hardy fruit ripens to its peak sweetness in the winter, a time when other popular fruits like peaches, melons, and berries do not grow as well. In the winter, citrus is often more widely available at a more affordable price than other fruits. To take advantage of the abundance of citrus in the winter, here are 6 ways that we at O’Brien’s Bistro recommend using up all that winter citrus.
Make A Gremolata
For those who love fresh herbal sauces like chimichurri, a gremolata is a great option, with the bonus of winter citrus. Originally from the northern Italian city of Milan, gremolata is made from parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. These ingredients are mashed together in a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, to create an extremely flavorful paste to use on chicken, fish, steak, or vegetables.
Use Citrus In A Vinaigrette
A classic vinaigrette is made up of oil, vinegar, typically some mustard, and herbs to season. Why not liven it up by replacing half or even all of the vinegar with citrus juice? At O’Brien’s Bistro, we love using citrus in vinaigrettes, with one of our favorite dressings being our Orange Horseradish Vinaigrette. This winter, get creative by adding grapefruit or lime juice to a classic French vinaigrette to spice up your salad.
Make An Easy Pan Sauce
When you are cooking meat, it almost always leaves flavorful caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan. If you are looking to use up your winter citrus, try squeezing some of it into the pan, along with a bit of butter and some fresh herbs or aromatics. This simple sauce will not only be delicious on top of whatever protein you are cooking, but it will also make cleanup a breeze, as you’ve already scraped off all the bits that were stuck to the pan.
Try Easy Lemon Ice Cream
A recently viral recipe showed just how easy it is to use up lots of your winter citrus. The TikTok creator who invented it put 3 whole lemons in the blender with a can of coconut milk and some sweetener, and then blended the mixture and poured it into ice cube trays. Once the ice cubes had frozen, she removed them and let them thaw a bit, then added them back to the blender, scraping down the sides until the mixture became a frozen creamy lemon dessert. Other creators have shown themselves making this recipe with excellent results, so it might be a great option if you are craving a sweet zesty treat during winter.
Use Citrus For Happy Hour Cocktails
In the winter the sun sets at the earliest time of day that it will all year. One of the only good things about the days getting shorter, is that happy hour comes earlier. Add some zest to your happy hour cocktails by incorporating fresh citrus into them. You can use fresh citrus juice in simple syrups, add fresh citrus peels to spirits to infuse them, or mix the zest of fresh citrus with sugar or salt to create a vibrant rim for your drinks. If you don’t feel like making your own happy hour cocktails, be sure to come down to O’Brien’s Bistro for Pensacola’s best happy hour from 4 PM- 6 PM, Monday-Friday.
Spice Up Your Hot Sauce
Most people buy their hot sauce from the store, not realizing that it is very easy to make at home. Most hot sauce is made from some combination of chilis, salt, and vinegar. When making your own, try adding the juice or zest of some fresh citrus like lime or orange to add a unique tangy note. This hot sauce is great on sandwiches, meat, or even on top of salads as an extra layer of dressing.
This winter, take advantage of the season’s bounty by incorporating citrus in your home-cooked meals. But not every meal can come from your own kitchen, which is why you need to check out O’Brien’s Bistro. At O’Brien’s Bistro, we specialize in fresh, upscale, and delicious cuisine that will keep you coming back. Call or make your reservation online for your next great meal at O’Brien’s Bistro.