Nature’s timing of the citrus season is impeccable, providing vitamin C-packed oranges and lemons to fight sniffles, coughs and colds.
There’s plenty of choice. This year, limes — especially kaffir limes — are abundant. The first kaffir limes I grew about 20 years ago had little juice. The grated rind and the waisted leaves were used for flavouring mainly in Asian cuisine or trendy desserts. However, newer varieties of the lime can be juiced. But beware — the juice is bitter.
Pink-fleshed grapefruit are now grown locally and their flesh is slightly sweeter than the ‘poor man’s orange’ or common grapefruit. The attractive segments make great combos with avocados and seafood and the juice is excellent in palate-refreshing sorbets. Grapefruit should be served with caution as they can react with some medications.
Lisbon lemons are more acid than the Meyer variety, which are thought to be a lemon-orange hybrid. Lemonade lemons are quite sweet in comparison to the Lisbon and can be eaten like an orange or used as a lemon.
New Zealand navel oranges can become addictive. As a rule, one orange has about 10 segments and will yield a third of a cup of juice and four teaspoons of grated rind.
Besides being high in vitamin C, citrus fruits are a good source of folate, potassium and fibre and are low in calories. And they’re mouth-watering!
KAFFIR LIME MARMALADE
If the full quantity of kaffir lines is not available, top up the weight with a lemon or two. It is a powerful mix. You might want to try it as a chicken baste or on scones with loads of whipped cream rather than on toast.
1kg kaffir limes
2 litres water
Halve the limes and remove any pips. Roughly chop the fruit. Place the fruit in batches in a food processor or blender with water to cover. Process until evenly chopped. Repeat until all the fruit is chopped.
Pour all the water and fruit into a large saucepan. Bring to boiling point and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until well dissolved. Boil rapidly until the marmalade reaches setting point, (104°C). Ensure the marmalade does not stick to the base.
Remove from the heat and pour into hot sterilised jars then seal. Makes 10 cups.
Moist and tangy.
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup each: plain Greek yoghurt, sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated grapefruit rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup canola oil
Syrup: 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup grapefruit juice
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly oil a 26cm x13cm loaf pan.
Sift the flour and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl beat together the yoghurt, sugar, eggs, grapefruit rind and vanilla essence. Whisk in the dry ingredients. Fold in the canola oil ensuring it is well mixed.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. Combine the sugar and grapefruit juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Place aside.
Remove the cooked loaf to a wire rack. Stand for 10 minutes then turn the loaf onto the rack. Place on an oven tray. Pour the syrup slowly over the loaf allowing it to soak in. Cool.
The loaf can be drizzled with a thin icing prepared from a half cup of icing sugar and a little grapefruit juice.
AVO & PINK GRAPEFRUIT WITH PAPRIKA DRESSING
Paprika Dressing: 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salad: 1-2 pink-fleshed grapefruit
1 large avocado
sprigs coriander or flat-leaf parsley
To prepare the dressing, whisk the vinegar with the mustard and paprika. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
With a sharp knife, cut the peel and pith from the grapefruit. To remove the segments, cut the flesh down each membrane. Add any excess juice to the dressing.
Halve, stone, peel and slice the avocado. Pile the grapefruit segments, avocado and coriander or parsley onto a serving plate and drizzle with the dressing. Serves 4 as an accompaniment to a main or 2 as a light meal with crusty bread.