Waiting Out Winter with Citrus
|Right Food for the Season - Late Winter|
|Written by Jane Ward|
While citrus fruit is not local to chilly climes like New England’s, these fruits are at the height of their growing and eating season in warmer parts of the US. Adding in season citrus to a winter meal is a surefire way to perk up flagging palates and send the reminder that warmer days are right around the corner.
By mid-February, I like to serve supremed (cleanly segmented) red or pink grapefruit in a light and simple citrus butter alongside my favorite local seafoods. This accompaniment works particularly well with seared swordfish, sea scallops, or salmon.
In supreming a grapefruit (or any variety of orange, lemon, or lime), the goal is to remove the fruit’s outer skin and white pith, and then release individual segments from both seeds and inner membranes. To start, first cut off both the stem end and the base of the fruit.
Stand the grapefruit upright on one flat edge. Place a very sharp and thin knife at the top cut edge of the grapefruit, just between where the white pith meets the inner flesh. Slice down and around the grapefruit, taking the peel off in thins strips, neatly removing all traces of white, until the entire globe is clean.
Next, while holding the trimmed grapefruit in your hand, and working over a bowl to collect any juice, run the same knife between the edges of each segment and its membranes. Try to leave the seeds behind with the membrane as well, but if any remain clinging to your sections, simply remove them very carefully with the point of your knife. Work around the grapefruit until all segments have been released. Collect these in the bowl and set aside.
To make a simple citrus butter: Juice a combination of lemons, limes, and oranges to gather ¼ cup of fresh juice. Add the juice, ½ tsp. sea salt, and ¼ tsp. ground black pepper to the bowl of a blender. Melt 1 stick (4 ounces) of unsalted butter over low heat or in the microwave. When the butter is still warm, turn on the blender and add the melted butter in a stream to the seasoned citrus juice. Blend the mixture at high speed for 30 seconds or until it is well emulsified.
Spoon a few grapefruit segments onto a plate with your favorite seared or grilled fish, pour some sauce directly from the blender over the fruit and fish, and serve immediately.