It may be the darkest time of the year, when all we want is a fire in the fireplace, warm chili, and a great glass of wine, but the trees in front of our Visitors Center are anything but dark and dreary. The citrus trees have dark green shiny leaves, and are just covered with citrus fruits of all kinds. Eureka lemon, Buddha’s hand, Seville Sour Oranges, Variegated Lemons, Pomelo, Grapefruit, Valencia Oranges, and Meiwa Kumquats. There are thirteen different types of citrus at our Farm.
At IL Fiorello, we have officially declared January to be citrus tasting month. In our Visitor’s center, we are presenting our co-milled oils, Winter Fruit Balsamic Vinegar Reduction, and really exquisite food pairings. We want to brighten your day, and your taste buds.
We are serving our Mandarin, Lemon, and Winter Fruit Olio Nuovo, and of course, our award winning and fabulous Jalapeno-Lime.
Each oil was made with quality fresh citrus fruit and olives. Hundreds of pounds of Eureka Lemons, Mandarins, Limes, and 800 lbs. of fresh jalapenos. All fruit is milled with really good Italian varietal olives, Frantoio, Leccino, and Pendolino. The result, super freshness, super taste, and delightful brightness.
The Winter Fruit Olio Nuovo appears this year for the first time in our tasting room. We had a couple thousand extra pounds of olives, a very large machine, and lots of citrus on the Farm. We picked 3 of each kind of citrus, added a couple of pomegranates for sweetness, and milled the lot together. Extraordinary oil, beautiful, bright, but subtle taste of citrus, and a long lasting finish. This oil pairs beautifully with a citrus salad of blood oranges and chicory. Radicchio, bitter lettuce, and endive are in the chicory family; these bitter greens grow well in winter, and pair nicely with the bright citrus of our Winter Fruit Olio Nuovo. Tis the season for a bright and healthy salad.
Our Sous Chef Gen is making Buddha’s hand curd, lemon curd, and orange and lemon marmalade. The candied fingers of the Buddha’s hand are just the most delicious treat. A great brightness during the relative cold of the California Winter months. We have Sour Orange Marmalade from our Seville Sour Orange trees. A wonderful treat. Lemon curd and Buddha’s hand curd are marvelous on lemon olive oil cake, English muffins, and my favorite, just a teaspoon.
Here are some more suggestions for enjoying our Co-Milled Citrus Oils
Mandarin Co-Milled Oil
Mixed with equal parts oil and honey
Warm just slightly and spread over English muffins
Eureka Lemon Co-Milled Oil
We serve this striking Eureka lemon oil over our olive oil gelato. It is grand over really good vanilla ice cream.
At the dinner table I serve our Lemon Oil with a simple roasted chicken. Just enough to brighten the flavor. It is particularly good on steamed asparagus or broccoli.
Bearss Lime Co-Milled Oil
Our favorite on fish or chicken tacos!
Jalapeno-Lime Co-Milled Oil
Enjoy on scrambled eggs, carne asada, steak, chicken, vegetables and POPCORN.
Begin the New Year with a fresh taste. Citrus and great oil. Double the antioxidants, and double the flavor.
Lemon Curd Recipe
When you have lots of lemons and chickens that give lovely eggs, and we have both, we make lemon curd. Enjoy the fresh taste of lemon curd on English muffins or Olive Oil Cake. If you are so lucky to have Buddha’s hand citron, try using a few fingers of the citron to make this luscious curd. Chef Gen has her own special way to make the curd and it is delicious.
4 Lemons, juiced
½ cup of lemon or Buddha hand peel
2/3 cups sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Remove the peel from the lemons, avoid the white pith as this is very bitter. If using Buddha’s hand use the whole finger
- Place the zest in a food processor with the sugar
- Pulse until the zest is very finely minced, the sugar helps to bring out the juices and oils from the peel
- Add eggs, lemon juice and melted butter to the sugar and blend to combine
- Place a saucepan or small pot on the stove with 2 inches of water, bring to a simmer
- Pour the lemon mixture into a glass or stainless steel bowl that fits on top of the saucepan without touching the water. Bain Marie or water bath
- Wisk the mixture constantly over low heat until thickened, the temperature should be between 160-170° F
- Remove from the heat
- Strain through a fine strainer
- Place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming
- Keep refrigerated until ready to enjoy