Week 39: When the Citrus Comes to Town
Some of our favorite periods of time at the farm are the transitional periods between seasons. This holds true for both the farmers and members alike. It is a key time to see things change in the fields, on the farm table, and what our bodies and minds crave. And there isn’t a better way to experience this connection than through our Moutoux CSA! As beautifully highlighted in the recent Facebook post @moutouxorchard, this is the time of year when we prepare ourselves to ride the wave of energy and growth through another season of farming. This week the first large round of seedlings scheduled to go into the field were planted. <3 THERE IS A LOT OF LIFE AND LIGHT ON THE HORIZON <3
Although not a locally sourced food for us here in the DMV, citrus fruits are their sweetest and juiciest during our winter months. Primarily in late-winter/early-spring, you’ll find an abundance of citrus at your local grocery store. It gives us a much-needed dose of vibrancy to the season of comfort foods and earthy root veggies.
Balancing recipes with acid is equally important as properly seasoning. If you haven’t already, try to incorporate citrus into your farm meals over the next few weeks as we head right into Spring!
LEMON ARTICHOKE HUMMUS
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 TBSP tahini
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
¼ tsp fine sea salt (more to taste)
Zest of 2 large lemons
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 large lemons)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1.5 cups water-packed artichoke hearts, drained well
Snipped chives or other herbs, for serving (optional)
In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, tahini, chickpeas, and salt and pulse until the beans are fairly smooth. Blend in the lemon zest and juice, then with the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream and blend smooth. Add the artichoke hearts and pulse until chunky. Taste, adding more salt if desired.
Drizzle with olive oil and herbs if using. Serve with kohlrabi slices, watermelon radish slices and/or daikon slices for dipping.
Notes: 8-10 servings, makes 2 cups. Extra hummus keeps well refrigerated airtight for up to 1 week.
ROASTED BEETS WITH CITRUS
6 to 8 small or medium beets
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 large naval orange
Sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt (Maldon), optional
Optional: Seasonal greens such as salanova lettuce, spinach, and/or kale (to make into a salad)
Optional toppings: goat or feta cheese; chopped, toasted walnuts or pistachios; roasted chickpeas or quinoa
Preheat oven to 400F
Place each beet on a piece of foil and drizzle generously with olive oil and pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Wrap the beets in the foil and roast on a baking sheet for 35-60 minutes, or until soft and fork tender. The time will depend on the size and age of the beets. Remove the beets from the oven, remove from the foil, and set aside to cool. When they are cool to the touch, peel the skins. QUICK TIP: Can hold them under running water and slide the skins off with hands.
Use citrus peeler to peel long strips around the orange, avoiding the white pith. Grated zest would work here also. Slice ¾ of the orange into segments and reserve the remaining ¼ wedge for squeezing.
Slice the beets into 1” wedges r chunks and place them in a bowl. PRO TIP: If you’re using different colored beets, place each color into separate bowls so the red ones don’t stain the others.
Drizzle with splash of olive oil and sherry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), then add the lemon juice, orange juice, and a few pinches or salt and pepper and toss. Chill until ready to serve. PRO TIP: This can be done a few days ahead of time as they get better with a longer marinating time!
Taste before serving and season with more salt (flaky salt, if using) and pepper or more vinegar (for more tang), orange, or lemon juice, as desired.
Assemble plate with orange segments and zest peels. To make it a salad, top on a bed of seasonal greens. Add whatever fixings you’d like!
Notes: Recipe courtesy of Love & Lemons blog (https://www.loveandlemons.com/simple-roasted-beets/)
GRILLED CABBAGE WEDGES WITH SPICY LIME DRESSING
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 3 limes)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp sugar
Lime wedges, for garnish
Heat grill to direct, high heat. Meanwhile, blend the lime juice, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne, and sugar in a blender until the sauce is pale orange and the garlic is pulverized; set aside.
Remove the outer toughest outer leaves from the cabbage and cut into 8 evenly sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core. Lightly brush the wedges with oil.
Place wedges on the grill. Close the cover and grill until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften, 5-7 minutes per side. The cabbage is ready when it’s beginning to wilt, but is still firm in the middle. This is somewhat a matter of preference too. If necessary, turn the heat down or move the wedges to cooler part of the grill so they don’t burn. But don’t be afraid of those blackened edges; you want a lot of grill and char marks on the cabbage to give it smoky flavor.
Transfer cabbage wedges to a serving platter. Pour the dressing over the wedges and add lime wedges for garnish.
Notes: Can roast the cabbage instead of grilling. Add more or less cayenne for heat preference.
STEAK WITH CITRUS MARINADE
¼ orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 TSBP soy sauce
2 TSBP olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
½ tsp ground cumin
2 TBSP lime juice
2 steaks of your choice
Whisk together orange juice, garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, oregano, cumin, lime juice.
Place steaks in shallow dish and cover with marinade.
Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.
Remove steaks from marinade and grill on medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side (or until desired doneness).
Remove steak from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes before eating.
Notes: Recipe courtesy of FloridaCitrus.org (https://www.floridacitrus.org/oj/recipes/steak-with-citrus-marinade/)
ROLL IN THE HAY
4 oz vodka (or gin)
4 oz pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1.5 oz elderflower liquor (St. Germain)
4 4-inch sprigs of fresh thyme
Dry Rosé champagne
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, grapefruit juice, elderflower liquor, and 2 sprigs of thyme. Shake until very chilled, about 30 seconds and double strain into 2 glasses. Top with roséchampagne. Garnish each drink with a sprig of thyme.
Notes: Makes 2 cocktails.
The full crew is back at Moutoux! WELCOME Leo, and WELCOME BACK back Casey, Molly and Buster!