We are currently amidst a thriving local citrus season, with fresh seasonal varieties entering our local farmers markets on a weekly basis.
With so many ways to get your daily boost of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber from your favorite citrus fruit, it’s often difficult to know where to begin. Whether you prefer super-sweet, super-tart or a nice combination of both, your local farmers will have what you need to keep you satisfied and healthy through the winter.
Among my all time favorite seasonal citrus lies those deliciously tangy blood oranges.
Properly named for their variegated orange and red peel with a deep red to purple flesh, they are ideal cutting into wedges and enjoying out of the peel, when squeezed over freshly cooked vegetables, as the base of a salad dressing, or as a great citrus marinade for your chicken, pork or fish. Try placing thin slices over your cooked fish, or simply as a garnish, for a beautiful presentation.
They can also be used to create a mouthwatering citrus sauce that adds that perfect balance and sweetness and acidity to your dishes. You can now pick up this truly local treat at most of your weekly farmers markets!
Pan-seared Fish with Blood Orange Sauce
1½ cup blood orange juice (about 6-7 oranges)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon sugar (adjust to preference, better to start with the teaspoon and add more at the end if needed)
Pinch of salt
1 pound fresh local rockfish or halibut filets (about 4 ounces each)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sunflower oil, peanut oil, or olive oil
Cilantro leaves and lemon wedge to garnish
In a saucepan, add blood orange juice and let simmer for about 15 minutes at very low heat (should reduce to about half of its original volume). While this is simmering, pat-dry your fish with a paper towel to remove all moisture. Combine all your spices in a small bowl and mix. Season both sides of the fish and set aside.
To your sauce, add sugar, pepper and salt. Add the butter and slowly mix this into the sauce until it turns into a nice velvety texture. Turn heat down to the lowest possible heat and let it sit.
In a large pan, put on medium-high heat and add oil. Once it is hot, add fish. Sear for about 2 minutes per side. The outside should be nice and seared, the center moist.
Place seared halibut on the plate and drizzle the top of the fish with your finished blood orange sauce and form a small pool of sauce around. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lemon wedge. Serve with roasted vegetables and sautéed spinach.
Yield: Four servings of fish.