Zest For Life
A CITRUS-CENTERED MENU
RECIPES AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY KARISTA BENNETT
Citrus can imbue the winter months with a touch of sunshine. The cheerful colors of these in-season fruits add a much-needed zest to winter meals. In this issue, you will find a collection of recipes that pair citrus with a variety of other fresh and flavorful ingredients. I’ve dressed up a few appetizers, married sweet and savory to create tasty mains and a side dish, and finished it all off with an effervescent cocktail. This is the perfect winter menu to prepare when you are craving a bit of sunshine.
WARM BRIE AND MARMALADE CROSTINI
I have an affinity for Brie and jam. More specifically, I adore the combination of warm Brie topped with orange marmalade. The color is welcoming and the taste is delightful.
Makes 16 to 20
- 1 (16-inch) baguette, sliced diagonally into ½- to 1-inch slices
- 8 ounces Brie
- ½ cup orange marmalade
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
Preheat the broiler. Place the baguette slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Then place a slice or dollop of Brie on each slice of bread. Place the baking sheet on the center rack under the broiler.
Broil for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove the crostini from the oven and top each one with a dollop of orange marmalade and garnish with chopped pistachios. Serve warm.
AVOCADO AND GRAPEFRUIT SALAD WITH GRILLED SHRIMP
Avocado and grapefruit is a flavorful pairing for a quick lunch with dimension. For this recipe, I turned the two-ingredient dish into a full-fledged meal with greens, grilled shrimp, and a citrus-laced vinaigrette.
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence, crushed between your fingers
- Salt to taste + ½ teaspoon
- Pepper to taste + ½ teaspoon
- 2 large grapefruit
- 2 large avocados
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Za’atar seasoning
- 2 cups fresh spring greens
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, and crushed dried Herbes de Provence. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate the dressing.
To segment the grapefruit, do not cut through the middle. Instead, slice the thick top and the bottom off the grapefruit exposing the flesh of the fruit. Now you have a flat base.
Place the grapefruit on one of the flat sides and with a sharp knife, cut off the peel in sections, from top to bottom. Allow your knife to follow the natural curve of the grapefruit. Then trim off any remaining pith or peel.
Hold the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juices. With a paring knife, make a cut along the inside of the white membrane that runs between the grapefruit segments. Follow the membrane until you reach the center. Then slice along the inside of the other side of the grapefruit segment until you’ve reached the center. The v-shaped segment of grapefruit should come right out. Repeat this process until you’ve segmented the entire grapefruit.
Place the grapefruit segments in a bowl and reserve.
Halve the avocados and remove the seeds. Make 4 or 5 slices in each half and carefully remove the slices with a spoon. Place the avocado slices in a bowl and drizzle with some of the grapefruit juice to keep the avocado from turning brown.
Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F.
Place the shrimp in a bowl and toss them with the olive oil and Za’atar seasoning and about ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, place the shrimp on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes each side. Remove the shrimp from the grill and keep warm.
To assemble the salad, dress the salad greens with about ¼ cup of the dressing. Place the salad greens on a platter. Layer the grapefruit segments and avocado over the salad greens and then top with the grilled shrimp. Garnish the shrimp with chopped fresh chives and serve immediately with additional dressing.