Lemon Relish & Citrus Salad

by SIdonie Maroon, A Blue Dot Kitchen

When it’s damp and dreary, nothing cheers me more than a big bowl of citrus on my counter. It’s a Winter bouquet of sun, tangerine, honey hues and bright kumquats. I love to eat satsumas as I walk the cold streets and save my peels. When I get a chance I cut them up, with scissors, into thin strips and let them dry for steaming pots of tea.

I stick my nose into freshly sliced grapefruit halves, just because I love the smells; then section them with a knife and always slurp up their last juices from the cupped rind. Early Winter brings so many amazing varieties of citrus into the Food Coop, that I’ll often buy something new one just for the adventure.

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While the majority of our citrus is eaten fresh, I do treasure our Winter tradition of making preserved lemon relish. I take my cue to start when the Meyers lemons come in and are on sale. Yesterday I bought two dozen and today I made relish by cutting off their tops and tails, quartering them, slicing out their core membranes, taking out any seeds and chopping each quarter in half.  

 For every 1 cup of lemon chunks, I added 1 teaspoon of sea salt (I like to use Real Salt which I buy in the bulk section). The salted lemon chunks went into my food processor and were pulsed to relish consistency.  The relish was then packed into pint mason jars, leaving an inch of headroom, and will ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. The lemon relish is ready to use when it tastes more sour than salty. But, I’m not fussy about this and will often start using it right away. It’s best stored in the fridge and will keep happily for up to 1 year, getting better and better as it develops.

I use lemon relish constantly in salad dressings, sauces, dips, spreads, marinades or straight out of the jar. I even use it in sweet lemon pies. It’s a wonderful and simple addition to our food life.


Citrus Salad

Serves 4-6

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Salad Ingredients

2 cups/250g grated carrots

2 cups/250g  grated celeriac root

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1 sectioned Ruby Red grapefruit cut into bite-sized pieces

1 sectioned juicing orange such as Valencia cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large fennel bulb trimmed and  finely diced

Seeds from one pomegranate

Dressing

⅔ cup avocado oil

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon relish

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 clove garlic finely minced

1 teaspoon fresh finely minced turmeric root

1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely minced

Instructions

Salad: mix grated root vegetables and fennel together and lay the sectioned fruit on top in a sunburst pattern. Let the diners individually dress their salads at the table.

Dressing: in a food processor, pulse the ginger, turmeric, and garlic together into a paste. Add the lemon juice, lemon relish, Dijon mustard, salt, and spin until combined. While the machine is running slowly add the avocado oil until emulsified.