Spring Sunday Dinner with lots of Citrus
Spring at the farmers market can be inspiring. I already had a dessert recipe in mind with an Olive Oil Citrus Cake. So now, what to cook for dinner? The Citrus Cake called for the zest of 6 oranges (or tangerines) so I had de-zested citrus to find a use for. So citrus became our theme and I found some recipes to play off of that.
I had picked up a bunch of carrots, and thought a carrot soup to start dinner would be nice. I love a Caprese salad, but Michael is not big on raw tomatoes, so I thought I could use the citrus instead. With a little color theme going on here, I picked up some salmon and had some pistachios I got at the farmers market from The Intuitive Forager. So…dinner became, Carrot Ginger Citrus soup, a Citrus Caprese salad and Pistachio Crusted Salmon, with our Olive Oil Citrus Cake for dessert.
For me one of the toughest things is getting everything going at the same time. We baked the cake earlier in the day so in the evening I started with the Carrot Soup. I found a couple of recipes and smooshed them together. Here’s what we came up with.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 slice of red onion, diced
- 1 bunch of carrots, peeled and diced into ½ inch slices
- 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
- Chicken Stock
- Coconut milk
- Spicy Camel Fennel Orange Spice Blend
- The juice of ½ and orange or tangerine
- Salt (I used Laguna Salt Company’s Lemon Flake sea salt)
- Crème fraiche
Carrot Ginger Citrus & Fennel Soup
I heated the butter in a pan and added the onions until they were translucent. Then tossed in the carrots & ginger for 2 minutes. I added some chicken stock and coconut milk, enough to cover the carrots. You can determine how creamy you would like your soup and adjust how much of each (stock and milk) that you add. The Spicy Camel Trading Company Fennel Orange Blend went in at this time also. I was generous with about a tablespoon. This blend, in case you can’t get to a Vegas Farmers market to pick it up from Dan or Sharon, is composed of dried orange peel, fennel seed, dried shallots, ginger, dill week, red chili flakes and tarragon. This cooked for 10-15 minutes, until the carrots were tender. I spooned the carrots and onion into the blender and then added the sauce until I felt it was the right consistency. Take your time with this, so that you don’t end up with your soup being thinner than you want. And….always be careful with hot fluids in the blender. After blending I added the juice of ½ of an orange as well as salt. This was a Lemon Flake sea salt from the Laguna Salt Company. Laguna Salt Company makes handcrafted Sea Salts in Laguna and luckily they have Rebecca bringing their products to the farmers markets in Las Vegas. This was great to add my salt as well as a little extra citrus kick.
You’ll want to find a way to keep this warm until serving, then top with a dollop of crème fraiche. I added a little of my left over salmon topping for a little crunch. You can also top with fresh herbs or micro greens for a little freshness.
Next up was the salmon. I actually started on this while the carrots were cooking. And again, I found a couple of recipes and ad libbed.
Mix the juice and the mustard. I will confess, I juiced ½ an orange and then had to add quite a bit of mustard to get it thickened. I suggest starting with the mustard (by the way I just used plain yellow mustard for this, but it would be even better I think with a nice Dijon) and then adding your juice to get to the consistency that you want. Paint this onto your fillets. I did both the top and the sides.
In the food processor drop in your pistachios (I had about a ½ cup) and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Add ¼ cup of panko bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons of canola oil and a tablespoon or so of the Fennel Orange spice blend and salt to taste. Pulse again to combine.
Pack this onto your fillets, on the top and the sides and put them in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. When you take them out let them rest for 5 minutes.
Lastly was my beautiful Citrus Caprese.
Pistachio crusted Salmon
Grease a cake pan and lay your salmon fillets in there.
- The juice of ¼ of an orange or ½ of a tangerine
- 2 tablespoons of Mustard
- ½ cup Pistachios
- ¼ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 2 tablespoons of Canola Oil
- 1 tablespoon of Spicy Camel Fennel Orange Spice Blend
- Salt ( Yep I used some more Laguna Salt Company’s Lemon Flake sea salt)
- Salmon fillets
- a ball of fresh mozzarella
- basil leaves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
I lined a long plate with fresh arugula from Blue Lizard Farm. I sliced my mozzarella (which sadly was not from the Intuitive forager who has beautiful fresh Burrata, but you have to get to the market earlier than I did to get it before it sells out!). I sliced the pith off of my oranges and tangerines. I had 2 blood oranges, a Murcott tangerine, a Valencia orange and a Cara Cara Orange from the Intuitive Forager. The Cara Cara has a beautiful pink flesh. I pulled some basil from the plant on the kitchen counter and grabbed my Ojai Olive Oil and Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar that also I picked up from the Intuitive Forager. I layered my salad, mozzarella first, then citrus & then basil. This was then drizzled with the olive oil and balsamic and sprinkled with, yes again, the lemon flake sea salt from Laguna Salt Company.
So timing on this if you are doing all 3. This is the ideal (not the way I did it and let my soup get cold!). Start your soup, while the carrots are cooking, get your salmon ready and in the oven. Make your Caprese. Pull the salmon out to rest and while it rests, finish your soup in the blender.
We finished dinner with the Olive Oil Citrus Cake (recipe & video will be out soon) which I topped with a strawberry and citrus compote. (This was just frozen strawberries chopped up with my extra citrus, a little balsamic and some sugar, warmed and mashed on the stove). I suggest serving this on the side, as it made my cake a little soggy. I will be looking for other things to dress up my cake.
We paired dinner with a 2013 Carhartt Sauvignon Blanc, and had a Riesling with dessert. With the oranges, great pairings would be a Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc or a Semillon.
This was actually our Easter Feast, but it makes for a great menu anytime in the spring.