Zesty Citrus Recipes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on February 15, 2023

In the depth of winter, when rich meats, stews, and casseroles reign supreme, a dose of sunny citrus is a welcome reprieve. Some consider grapefruit to be winter’s brightest jewel, while others prize the rosy sweetness of blood orange or the honeyed sparkle of Meyer lemon. In fact, in the colder months, even run-of-the mill lemons, limes, and oranges are at their finest and most flavorful. Whether you source your citrus fruit from your local farmers’ market or grocery store, or have them shipped directly from a Florida fruit stand, ’tis the very best season to toss cheerful segments into salads, bake zest into cakes, and shake juice into cocktails. Here are our favorite citrus recipes to make this winter.

Shakers, descendants of an 18th-century Christian ascetic movement, believe that when you eat, you should "shaker your plate"—finish every last crumb. That's easy to do when you're having a slice of this sweet-tart, pie—a specialty of the Ohio branch of the Shaker community—with its flaky, buttery crust and marmalade-like citrus filling. Get the recipe >

Master preserver Camilla Wynne’s homemade orange marmalade recipe can be adapted to just about any peak-season citrus. Get the recipe >

This shoulder roast—an adaptation of a celebratory Cuban recipe for whole suckling pig— is marinated overnight in a garlicky mojo. Get the recipe >

Cuba’s multipurpose marinade doubles as the perfect sidekick for grilled meats and fish. Get the recipe >

Regulars at Brooklyn’s now-shuttered Franny’s never grew tired of this sunny, Italian-style citrus salad. Get the recipe >

In the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe, this slightly sweet liqueur is prepared with the abundant clementines that appear around the holidays. In New Orleans, Jessica B. Harris uses whatever variety of fresh citrus is growing in her backyard, sometimes swapping satsumas or kumquats for clementines. Get the recipe >

There are iterations of egg- and lemon-based soups all over the world, but this classic avgolemono recipe from chef Diane Kochilasbelongs to the Mediterranean. Get the recipe >

Toronto-based master preserver and baker Camilla Wynne showcases her own homemade whole citrus marmalade in this moist and tender cake. Get the recipe >

Lemon curd takes on extra brightness from the use of zest as well as juice in these simple, superlatively flavorful lemon bars. Get the recipe >

Add a slice of salt-sprinkled grilled grapefruit, and cut the tonic with soda, and the classic G&T grows not only more aromatically complex, but even more refreshing. Get the recipe >

Crabmeat is rubbed with a smoky chile paste, then sautéed and tossed in a refreshing salad of creamy avocado, tart grapefruit, and herbs. Get the recipe >

A heady mixture of olive oil and candied oranges flavors this moist, dense Sicilian dessert. Get the recipe >

This salad is best made in the winter when blood oranges and Cara Caras are readily available. Get the recipe >

Dorie Greenspan's soft and chewy orange and ginger brownie cookies are laced with aromatic holiday flavors. Get the recipe >

The single best gauge of a bakery's quality is its lemon tart," says tart expert Maury Rubin. "There's a dance to balancing the sweet and tart flavors appropriately, and in a good bakery the filling will never taste buttery or eggy—it will taste like lemon." Get the recipe >

Retro and mousse-like, lemon chiffon pie is a diner classic. Just don't call it meringue. Get the recipe >

Similar to Argentina's chimichurri, Dominican wasakaka is one of the simplest Caribbean condiments there is. Serve the bright and herbal sauce with roasted and grilled chicken.Get the recipe >

Caramelized roasted pumpkin gets an unorthodox hit of flavor from orange zest and juice, stirred in just before serving to brighten this wintry soup. Get the recipe >

This elegant North African cake from baker Kamel Saci is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup and perfumed with flower waters. Get the recipe >

Every part of the orange—the zest, juice, and flesh—is used in this subtly sweet tart. Get the recipe >

Lemon and salt are powerful on their own, but even better when combined and let mature into this North African pantry staple.Get the recipe >

A whole, poached, lemon—tempered by sugar and puréed—enlivens the dressing for this wintery seafood salad. Get the recipe >

This tomatillo- and lime-based ceviche was inspired by chef Gonzalo Guzmán from Nopalito, a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. Get the recipe >

A community of Japanese immigrants in Lima has led to a unique fusion cuisine called "Nikkei." This Nikkei ceviche is prepared using Japanese ingredients and knife techniques.  Get the recipe >

The combination of salmon and avocado, which Peruvians call palta, is still more common as a maki roll in Lima's sushi bars than it is in the city's cevicherías, but it's growing in popularity. Get the recipe >

Rich dark rum is brushed over grapefruit halves, which are then sprinkled with sugar and cayenne pepper before broiling. Get the recipe >

This grilled chicken dish is the Holy Trinity of weeknight cooking: delicious, quick, and made from easy-to-find ingredients. Get the recipe >

Various conflicting origin stories surround the classic sidecar recipe, which only adds to the throwback cocktail’s mystery and charm. Get the recipe >

At Oklahoma’s Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Southeast Asian flavors sparkle in a bright and savory margarita riff. Get the recipe >

Honey, citrus, pear, and Irish whiskey take the lead in this Dublin take on the classic sidecar cocktail. Get the recipe >

Sweet pomelo pairs beautifully with chiles, peanuts, and mint in this classic Thai salad from Talde in Brooklyn, New York. Get the recipe >

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