Put Some Zing in your Spring with these 5 Citrus Recipes

close up photo of an orange

Want something refreshingly different? Well you can make a break from the same old stuff when you add a little citrus into your life. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, kumquats, you name it, all of them can go savory, not just sweet.

Here’s just a few recipes to get you started.

Got fish? Got steaks? Then count this Orange Parsley Gremolata as your new BFF. Make it and keep it handy. Soon you’ll find your throwing it atop sautéed green beans, buttering your bread with it and topping that otherwise plain branzino with it too.

Orange Parsley Gremolata

4 Tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley with the stems removed
4 Tbs. thinly sliced unsalted butter, softened
3 tsp grated orange zest (approx. two oranges. Use ripe!)
3 tsp orange juice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp apple cider vinegar

Soften butter and have handy in a separate medium sized bowl.

In another bowl, place finely chopped parsley, sprinkle with vinegar (be sparing!) and toss well. Let sit for 3 minutes. Add salt and toss again. Combine orange juice and orange zest; pour this mixture into parsley, toss well and let sit for five minutes. Toss and sprinkle with pepper. Your mixture should be moist but not wet. Fold this parsley mixture into softened butter and mash until well-mixed (about 3 minutes). Cover with plastic wrap and chill for minimum of 15 minutes.

Now you’ve got a really great topping for anything from bread, to cod to corn on the cob. Just slice and pat or rub on anything you like. Store in container with tight-fitting lid. Keeps 5 days.

Love traditional tabouli? Well you probably want to try this recipe for a very good basmati rice that looks absolutely gorgeous on the plate and does not disappoint when it comes to delivering a bright, fresh and satisfying bite. Serve with anything from steaks to fish or top it with a fried egg.

Orange Carrot Parsley Basmati Rice

2 cups basmati rice
1 orange, zested
3 cups vegetable stock
2 ½ teaspoons unsalted butter
1 yellow onion finely chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped into matchsticks
1 tsp brown sugar
3 Tbs. unsalted chopped pistachios
3 Tbs. chopped flat leaf parsley

Rinse rice thoroughly. Remove zest from orange with zester. Avoid the white pith since it is sour! Squeeze the juice from the orange into the vegetable stock.

In a pot with a tight-fitting lid: Sauté onion in 1 tablespoon butter until golden. Add garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add basmati rice and stir with wooden spoon to toast the rice on all sides. Add more butter if necessary. Toast for approximately 2-3 minutes, moving the rice to ensure an even toasting. When rice is golden, pour in broth mixture, stir and increase heat to medium high. Do not stir. Wait until rice looks like it’s full of craters (like the moon). Reduce heat to low and cover immediately. Cook for 12-15 minutes.

In medium sized saucepan, heat remaining butter and toss in thinly sliced carrots for two minutes. Remove from heat. Heat orange zest and sprinkle with brown sugar. Add back the carrots. Stir in parsley and chopped pistachios. Fold into rice mixture and combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


One Pot Recipe for Lemon-Fennel-Garlic Chicken and Cannellini Bean Stew

2 medium onions, peeled, cut into quarters
8 large cloves garlic, peeled, whole
1 large red bell pepper, cut into large squares
1 head fennel, trimmed, cut into quarters
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 lbs. skinless chicken thighs (bone in)
14-oz can small white beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs. cornstarch

In a 4-quart slow cooker or enameled pot with tight fitting lid, place onions, fennel, garlic, red bell pepper, thyme, lemon zest, fresh black pepper and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Place chicken thighs on top.
If using a slow-cooker, cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, stirring once or twice. After 2 ½ hours, add in cannellini beans and lemon juice. Stir and cook for remaining 30 minutes.

If using enameled pot, bring to boil. Cover and reduce to low. Simmer for 2 ½ hours or until chicken is falling off the bone.

Now, to thicken things up a bit…
In a small glass measuring cup, whisk together ¼ cup warm water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Once lump free, remove the chicken, fennel and onion from pot. Discard fennel. Cover the stew to keep warm. Stir cornstarch mixture into the bottom of the pot or slow cooker and stir. Heat on high for 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Return chicken to combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve on brown rice or noodles if desired.


Lemon Sage Panna Cotta

1 cup whole milk, divided
2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon (ripe)
4 leaves dried sage (or 8 fresh)

For Topping:
3 Tbs. High Quality Seville Orange Marmalade
1 Tbs. golden raisins
Wedge lemon

Panna Cotta:
Pour ½ cup cold milk into medium bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin and stir to combine. Let sit for approximately 15 minutes, until gelatin softens.

In large saucepan, combine whipping cream, sugar, lemon zest. Add sage. Heat on medium low and stir continuously. Bring mixture to just below boiling. Remove saucepan from flame and steep for 10 minutes.

Bring the cream mixture back to a simmer. Pour in gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Strain through sieve into a glass pitcher or bowl. Immediately pour mixture into eight ¾ cup sized ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of six hours.

For Topping:
Heat one tablespoon water and 3 tablespoons high-quality marmalade in a small saucepan on low heat. Add raisins and stir continuously, allowing raisins to plump. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh lemon and stir.

Use a paring knife to cut around edges of each panna cotta. Invert each on chilled plate. Top with marmalade and serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Grapefruit Vanilla Wafer Tart

Vanilla Wafer Crust
40 vanilla wafer cookies (preferably Nilla Wafers)
¼ cup salted butter, softened

3 Ruby Red grapefruits
¼ cups orange, lemon or citrus marmalade
6 tablespoons sugar (preferably fancy Demerara or Turbinado sugar)

Place 40 Nilla wafer cookies in food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds or until ground to small chunks. Add softened butter. Pulse for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Pulse until combined.

Press into chilled, glass pie dish. Chill for 15 minutes to set. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and place on rack.

Increase oven temperature to 425.

Assemble tart.

Slice off the top and bottom of grapefruit. Lay one sliced side down on cutting board. Start with the side of the grapefruit that is farthest from you. For safety, cut away from you, not toward you. Using a sharp knife, cut the peel and pith (white part) away from the fruit. Once peeled, turn grapefruit on its side and slice lengthwise. Cut slices to look similar to orange segments, measuring about 1/2 inch thick.

Spread citrus marmalade over partially baked crust. Arrange grapefruit on crust in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until crust is browned. Remove tart from oven. Turn on broiler. Sprinkle tart with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until top is browned. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes or more. Slice on cutting board with pizza slicer. Serve as is or with sorbet or vanilla ice cream.

By no means is that all that’s out there when it comes to delightfully deliciously different citrus recipes. There’s oh so much you can do, from shortbreads to pot stews to marinades and salads galore. Got a favorite citrus recipe you wanna send my way? Do it!

Until next time, enjoy putting a little zing in your spring with citrus!

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