Clementines, those darling little oranges, have become wildly popular in recent years — and with good reason.
They are delicious, easy to peel and drip-resistant, so clothing doesn’t get stained. Perfect in portion size, clementines pack well in lunches. Best of all, they're sold in bulk at reasonable prices.
Technically, clementines are part of the mandarin family. While they are available all year, the best-tasting ones are at their peak from December through February. I suggest stocking up right now. Look for clementines that are firm but slightly soft. They should feel heavy for their size. Wrinkled skin means they’re overripe.
Clementines do not need refrigeration. They last two to three weeks at room temperature.
Do not be afraid to buy a hefty crate of clementines. If they are not consumed, clementines perk up recipes. They add sparkle to salads of all kinds and zest to pastries.
Wintery Mix Clementine Salad | Pareve
4teaspoons chopped pecans
1 small head of red radicchio
1 cup baby arugula, packed tightly
1 cup baby spinach, packed tightly
4 teaspoons golden raisins
4 teaspoons olive oil, or more,
4 teaspoons lemon juice,
about 1 lemon
Kosher salt to taste
Peel the clementines. Pull apart the sections and remove the pith. Cut each section into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on the size. Reserve.
Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil. Spread the pecan pieces on the foil. Bake for 1-2 minutes, until the pecans turn golden. Watch them constantly as they burn easily. Remove the pecans from the oven and bring them to room temperature. Reserve.
Break the endive into leaves. Cut each leaf into 3 pieces. Core the radicchio and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Rinse the endive, radicchio, arugula and spinach under cold water. Dry these four lettuces in a salad spinner or on paper towels. Move them to a large salad bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients, along with the clementines and pecans. Mix the ingredients with salad tossers until well-coated with olive oil and lemon juice. Add more if desired. Serve immediately.
Clementine Compote | Pareve
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons bourbon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Peel the clementines. Pull apart the sections and remove the pith. Cut each section into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on size. Reserve.
Place the two sugars into a medium-sized heavy pot. Pour the orange juice and bourbon over them and stir. Add the clementine pieces. Cover the pot and heat on a medium-low flame.
Every minute or 2, mash and chop the clementine pieces using a wooden spoon. When the pieces are softened, raise the flame to medium-high and bring the mixture to a bubbling boil, until the liquid nearly disappears, about 3-5 minutes.
Watch the mixture constantly so it doesn’t boil over or burn because all the liquid disappeared. Add a little more orange juice, if necessary.
Remove the pot from the flame and stir in the lemon zest. Bring the compote to room temperature before moving it to a container that seals well. Refrigerate until serving. Serve over vanilla ice cream, coconut sorbet, plain yogurt, pancakes or oatmeal.
Yield: ¾-cup of compote JN
This article originally appeared in the Jewish Exponent, a Jewish News-affiliated publication.