Welcome to The Citrus Menu, an arrangement of dishes inspired by the zesty pastel fruits swinging from the sun-dripped trees of summer.
One would not likely make a connection between the bright bulbs of lemon or lime with the Christmas-scented conifers, yet the word citrus derives somewhat from the Greek term kédros which translates to cedar. Imagine an appetizer of bread with cedar-infused butter, followed by a cedar-rubbed salmon with the edible nightcap of the chef’s special Cedar Meringue Pie. Though perhaps not impossible, the marinades of this feature won’t taste like your beloved holiday pine was shaken into the mixing bowls.
Round lemons, sour grapefruits, and tangy limes are renowned for their vitamin C content, and alternative medicine favors the fruits for their benefits outside of the immune system. Diluted lime juice cleanses bacteria from the skin, the essential oil extracted from the orange peel can reduce muscle spasms and increases blood circulation, and grapefruit is thought to lift a person from a sour mood. Little might you know that the cool glass of lemon tea you may be downing right now is detoxifying your liver and can, over time, contribute to a clearer complexion and happier gut. Drink up!
What is your favorite citrus fruit? Florida’s happens to be the orange, while Texas favors the patriotic “Texas Red Grapefruit.” In fact, the orange blossom is so highly coveted in Florida that it is illegal to cut an orange tree down unless there is a good reason to do so – such as canker, which took the life of my family’s beloved orange tree some years ago. Rest in peace, O Symbol of My Youth.
So as you sip your morning orange juice, squeeze a spoonful of lime juice into a batch of guacamole, or bite down on any of the dishes featured in this recipe series, consider what you’ve learned about citrus fruits – or don’t, and simply enjoy its pulpy textures while being assured that the fruits of your culinary labor were well worth the efforts.
BONUS RECIPE: Citrus-Coffee Body Scrub
A rejuvenating blend of coffee grounds and lemon juice increases the flow of blood in your limbs and provides a gentle tingle to the skin, while lingering in your nose with a slight, refreshing scent. Be forewarned: you will have to rinse your shower well, and oil can make the floor slippery.
1/4 cup coffee grounds
2-3 T olive or coconut oil
A few drops of lemon oil OR 1 T lemon juice
ASSEMBLY: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, adding or subtracting oil depending on the consistency you desire. Rub all over cleansed skin in the shower (except your face) and leave on as long as desired. Rinse well.