Image Courtesy of Sunkist
Sparkling citrus are mood boosters that infuse the right amount of brightness and tart into every recipe at your table.
Though much of the country is dusted with snow and ice, colourful globes of citrus from cara cara oranges to minneola tangelos are fully in season, poised to invigorate your recipes with a burst of Vitamin C so you can focus on what’s important—quality time around the table with family and friends.
The Fresh Fix
That fresh citrus burst makes for a delicious punctuation of flavour in your recipes, and it’s also what the iconic brand Sunkist is all about. As a growers cooperative, they are meticulous about freshness and flavour, with a commitment to quality that is unmatched in their categories. This is backed by their hand-picking selection of more than 40 varieties of fresh citrus like conventional lemons and blood oranges plucked from California and Arizona. And that careful curation can help translate into beautiful, easy-to-make dishes that will delight your guests—and maybe even end up on Instagram!
Before we get into some plant-powered recipes, you should know that the citrus category exceeds their reputation as Vitamin C powerhouses—they also boast other crucial vitamins and minerals, including potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, B vitamins and copper. They are rich in plant compounds too, offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Citrus & Herbs: A Perfect Pairing
They go together like bread and butter, only with a host of health benefits and more variety in colour palette. These unique combinations of citrus and herbs will not only bring your dishes together—but your guest list, too!
1. Blood Oranges with Dill or Rosemary
The feathery leaves of fresh dill make for a gorgeous garnish that can be sprinkled on nearly everything, but it pairs particularly well when balanced with the depth of a blood orange, which is famous for its deep red flesh and bolder citrus flavour. It’s also slightly sweeter than your average l’orange, making it a fair opponent for dill’s grassy flavour. For an unforgettable drink, try a Negroni Cocktail, spiked with blood orange and minty rosemary.
2. Cara Cara Oranges with Arugula or Parsley
Cara Cara oranges are like the fancier, big sister of the classic navel, with sweeter flavour. Pair them with the annual herb arugula, with its bitter taste to counter the sweetness of the Cara Cara orange. Toss both into an Orange Quinoa Salad or mix with another hearty grain barley or Israeli couscous. Finish with a sprinkling of freshly torn parsley to really heighten the citrus flavour. Fancy the peel? Orange peel and sage come together in a striking combination when garnishes over meat dishes.
3. Conventional Lemons with almost anything!
Conventional lemons are like the charming guest at your dinner party—they get along with just about everybody. Not only does their sunny colour brighten up a dish, but they mix well with nearly every herb in the garden. Lemons are easy friends with the usual herb suspects, from oregano to thyme, rosemary and marjoram. Looking for a savoury starter? Lemon Pepper Salmon Cakes with Herbed Garlic Mayo combine nutrition with indulgence, with flavour lifting off the plate, thanks to a winning combination of grated lemon zest, lemon juice and chopped fresh parsley. This dish will leave your guests feeling satisfied, but not stuffed. Another delicious option is combining lemon and thyme to create Sheet Pan Salmon with Capers and Lemon.
4. Minneola Tangelo and Tarragon
If you conjure up the tart quality of a grapefruit with the zesty sweetness of a tangerine, you have yourself a Minneola Tangelo, a punchy, bell-shaped sphere that is ripe for recipe planning. These heavyweights in the mandarin family are brought to life when combined in dishes that feature tarragon, a bittersweet herb that is common in French cooking.
5. Mandarin Orange and Basil
The flavour of bold mandarin orange is a palate pleaser particular in cold salads, where its bright sweetness and sturdy texture holds its own against strong herbs and greens such as spicy basil, springy cilantro or even bitter arugula. Basil and mandarin work together particularly well because they both contain a whisper of spice.
So whatever you plan to serve this winter, whether with communal dining family or a cozy dinner with close girlfriends, take a stroll through the citrus aisle for something fun from Sunkist. This full sensory experience of citrus means it can be shared and enjoyed by everyone.
Spending a few minutes prepping those fresh ingredients in the kitchen means you’ll have ample time later to sit down and have face-to-face conversations, sharing bites and plates around the table—to create real experiences and memories that last.