Welcoming Winter Citrus Season with Limes
Winter is a beautiful time of year of year to shake up classic recipes with citrus because many varieties are hitting their peak over the next few months. And as many of the cold-weather classics (soups, stews, roasts, etc) tend to be heavy and full of deep, umami flavors, a flash of citrus zest or squeeze of juice can really perk things up!
Limes are my some of my favorites because they suggest floral sweetness, even in savory dishes. Try a basic curry, coconut, and butternut squash soup with plenty of lime juice. It will transport you away from any snow shoveling you started to do already.
One of my favorite garnishes of all time is actually a small salad that pairs chopped fresh lime segments, shaved red onion, microgreens, cotija cheese, and olive oil. It’s perfect on top of grilled fish or other proteins, and heightens any dish immediately to “elegant”.
I also love limes in marinades because their acid gently breaks down protein and imparts subtle sweetness as well. Specifically, lime and ancho chilies are a natural combination and will give steak, chicken, or firm-fleshed fish a gorgeous varnish.
The zest, juice, and flesh of limes can all be used, making them smart economical choices to any order guide. You can even eat the tender rind if treat them correctly! Simply boil your lime rinds for 20 minutes, change the water, boil once more in simple syrup, and lay out to dry and crystalize. You can even use the leftover lime-scented syrup in mojitos and margaritas!
Nothing is more refreshing between courses than a burst of citrus and snow-like crunch. This granita will cleanse your palate in between courses, and leave you ready for what’s to come, no matter how spicy, rich, or savory! And the mint helps with digestion.
Lime & Mint Granita Palate-Cleanser
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
6 mint leaves
½ cups lime juice
2 tbs lime zest
In a small saucepan combine water, sugar and mint leaves. Cook the simple syrup until sugar is dissolved and comes to a slight boil. Turn the heat off and allow the simple syrup to cool, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Once the simple syrup is chilled, remove mint leaves and stir in lime juice and zest, and pour into a 9-by-13 baking dish.
Place in the freezer for an hour and using a fork, stir up the mixture to create shaved ice. Continue to freeze mixture and shave the ice every 30 minutes until fully frozen.
Once you are ready to serve, shave the ice with a fork into the bowl of your choice and garnish with fresh mint.
About the Chef
Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.