Fruit

Summer's tangy orange-rhubarb compote

Our friend Luise once turned her rhubarb harvest into a beautiful rhubarb feast - rhubarb squares, rhubarb-pops, rhubarb compote. Last time we rode the train together on a Friday night she told me this recipe and my guests were licking it off their plates that Saturday night. Serve it with scones, crepes, vanilla ice-cream, a lemon-ricotta tart or just a spoon.  

Serves 6

  • 8 stalks rhubarb
  • 2 oranges (zest and juice)
  • .5 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Scrub rhubarb and orange clean with vegetable brush under running water.
  3. Trim edges of rhubarb, cut into 2 inch lengths, toss into roasting pan.
  4. Zest oranges, juice oranges, add to rhubarb.
  5. Sprinkle rhubarb with .5 cup sugar (or more depending on how tart you like it).
  6. Roast for 20 minutes or less (until rhubarb is soft but not has not collapsed).

Marinating Bocconcini in spring herbs

Marinated bocconcini is a year-round favorite because it lasts and lasts and lasts (until we devour it!).

We bake it into focaccia, melt it on pizza, toss it with cherry tomatoes and vinegar and call it a salad.

Readily available at just about any market (but more delicious if purveyed locally), it's super easy to marinate with whatever flavors you have on hand - lemon zest, black peppercorn, rosemary. This week we combined lemon thyme, parsley, spicy nasturtium, sea salt and red pepper flakes.

Simply rinse your bocconcini, put it in a sterilized glass jar, add herbs and enough olive oil to cover the very top of the cheese. Keep it in the refrigerator and eat it any which way you can as fast as you can! 

Broiled Citrus with Honey and Candied Ginger

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Years ago one of our favorite cafés served a modest desert of orange segments drizzled with honey, dotted with candied ginger and briefly tucked under the broiler. It has been one of our dead-of-winter tricks ever since. This time we used slices of eight different varieties of citrus with their peels, julienned the candied ginger and drizzled liberally with honey before broiling. Then we insisted on using our fingers to ritually pull it apart and share each piece.

Endless Citrus

 

 

 

The variety of citrus available today is dizzying. We enjoy it for its juice as well as the fragrance of its rind.  This week we took advantage of the diversity and served up blood oranges, cara cara oranges, cocktail grapefruit, heller peak season grapefruit, noble shiranuhi tangerine, minneola tangelo, ugli fruit, kumquats and mandarin oranges any way we could.

We juiced them, ate them raw, broiled them with honey and candied ginger and candied their rinds.

In the Spring we'll preserve blood oranges as marmalade. In the height of summer, we'll muddle limes into Brazilian Caipirinhas and whisk lemon zest into birthday pound cakes. In late December, we'll float slices of yuzu in a hot bath to celebrate the winter solstice (the shortest day and longest night) and ward off winter colds as we learned in Japan.  In early February, we'll score bright orange seedless tangerines with their green leaves attached in Chinatown - to ensure good luck and longevity for the Lunar New Year.  

 

"A Taste of Japan" @ The Doughnut Plant

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By the time we wrote this up The Doughnut Plant's ‘Taste of Japan’ had given way to New Orleans' Mardi Gras King Cakes. So you can only imagine the tangy, sweet, fragrant Japanese Yuzu that glazed their yeast, cake, and yuzu-custard filled doughnuts for a few weeks.

Just touch the tip of your tongue to the glaze and the heady smell of yuzu carries you to a Tokyo street corner where vending machines dispense tin cans of hot tea made of yuzu and honey (yuzu hachimitsu).

The Plant also launched black sesame, azuki & kinako, shiso and green tea doughnuts along with Matcha Latte and Kukicha tea (a twig tea with a milder, sweeter, creamier  flavor than matcha).   

The Doughnut Plant's 'Taste of Japan' celebrated their expansion to Asia over a decade ago. Founder Mark Israel’s passion for donuts was initially inspired by his grandfather who baked bread for U.S. Army troops in Paris during WWI.  To the delight of those of us living in New York, Seoul, and Tokyo, Israel has innovated  trés léches cake doughnuts,  square yeast doughnuts filled with house-made jam and caramelized  créme brulée doughnuts! But its yuzu-flavored donuts are already a thing of the past here in New York!

Candied Citrus - ugli, cara cara, kumquat, grapefruit, mandarine & more

There is always a jar of candied citrus peel and ginger in our house to accompany an espresso or a  bar of dark chocolate after a meal.  When we have a huge variety of citrus on hand - or are making lots of juice - we save the peels to candy.

Julienne the peel and soak in water over night to release any bitterness (changing the water once). Then bring a simple syrup of one part water to one part sugar to a boil and boil to the soft-ball stage. (We used two cups sugar to two cups water for 10 fruit peels. And we assessed the soft-ball stage by keeping a glass of ice-water on hand - dripping the boiling syrup in occasionally until it formed a soft ball in the ice-water.)

Then macerate the peels in the simple syrup for a few hours before straining and distributing them on a drying rack. Sprinkle with Demarra sugar  and let dry for about half an hour before storing in an air tight container.