What better way to beat the winter doldrums than to immerse yourself in a beautiful book devoted solely to Citrus! My dear friend Victoria Pearson has filled it’s pages with stunning images and well known food stylist and recipe developer Valerie Aikman-Smith provided mouth watering recipes you’ll want to have on repeat in your kitchen. They offered to share a few recipes with us here and give away a copy of their new book – signed by Victoria Pearson.
Personally, I really love this Meyer Lemon & Thyme Hearth Bread. It’s an easy focaccia that makes a stunning addition to a round of appetizers or along side a big green salad.
Meyer Lemon & Thyme Hearth Bread
Juicy Meyer lemons and freshly picked lemon thyme add a perfumed, zesty kick to this simple, no-nonsense focaccia. It will surely become part of your life very quickly.
1 cup warm water (about 110 ºF)
¼ cup olive oil
1 package (¼ounce / 7 grams) active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced
1 small bunch lemon thyme
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Pour the water into a measuring jug, stir in the oil, and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let stand for about 5 minutes, until frothy.
Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until mixed. Then, with the motor running, add the yeast mixture to the flour and process for about 4 minutes, until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside in a warm place, and let the dough rise for about 11⁄2 hours, until it doubles in size.
Oil a 9 by 13-inch sheet pan. Transfer the dough to the center of the prepared sheet pan, punching it down to deflate it. Then, using your fingers, press and stretch the dough out evenly in the pan, extending it to the edges. Using your fingertips, dimple the entire surface of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Uncover the dough, arrange the lemon slices on top and scatter with the lemon thyme. Sprinkle generously with the coarse sea salt.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Serves 6 to 8
And one of my other favorites is this tangy Fennel, Tangerine & Olive Slaw which pairs well with grilled chicken or steak. I was lucky enough to be in the studio the day they were working on this recipe and loved the addition of the dill flower heads sprinkled on top…such a pretty detail.
Fennel, Tangerine & Olive Slaw
~Serves 4 to 6
1 fennel bulb with fronds attached
1 Granny Smith apple
4 tangerines, peeled and thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup sliced green olives
Zest and juice of 1 tangerine
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Fennel blossoms, for garnish (optional)
Cut the fennel fronds from the fennel and set aside. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the fennel bulb into matchsticks and transfer to a large serving bowl. Cut the apple the same way and add to the fennel. Add the tangerine slices and toss in the olives.
To make the vinaigrette, combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Screw the lid on and shake the jar vigorously until the mixture emulsifies.
Pour the vinaigrette over the slaw and toss to mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To serve, tear the fronds and sprinkle them and the fennel blossoms on top of the slaw.
To enter the giveaway for Citrus: Sweet & Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes please answer the following question in the comments:
What’s your favorite way to enjoy citrus?
For me…I would have to say Lemon Bars!
Winner will be announced on this post Friday, January 29th!
Winner of the book by random number is comment #18: Shelby Mikucanis!
Reprinted with permission from Citrus, by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photographs copyright © 2015 by Victoria Pearson