As the winter has got colder over recent days we maybe forgiven in the darkest nights to think that seasons have dried up and all we have left are hearty potatoes and sturdy thick leafed greens to survive us till spring. But there is still something bright and fantastically rich with sugars, flavours and colour that comes into season right now namely Mediterranean citrus in all its varieties. Seville oranges from Spain bitter to eat but the essential ingredient for jam and Marmalade makers. The deliciously edible Clementine with its fleshy, juicy bite sized, peel able segments and the wondrous sweet and versatile Sicilian Blood Orange all fantastic, like a taste of captured sunshine and most of all plentiful at this time of year.
Its not just the Mediterranean that lifts the winter season, England has its own special and versatile root namely Rhubarb. In Yorkshire they have made something of an art in creating the forced root that arrives in vibrant pink and yellow which not only brings colour but comfort and compliment to many a dish. From pies to porridge, its easy to cook and adds a texture and flavour like no other root.
Here’s a little relish idea for Rhubarb I find on Rhubarb Recipes.
2 c. finely chopped fresh
2 c. finely chopped onion
2 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. pepper
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool and store in the refrigerator.
Makes a delicious condiment for poultry, pork or beef.