The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Winter Inspiration: Citrus

I’ve been holding out for this post for months. Citrus makes me happy, and it’s one of those things that redeems January. (And apparently, January is National Citrus Month.) I mean, those colors! Those flavors! That vibrance! That alone is reason enough to make peace with the month. And I had it in mind to write up this post as a means of focusing on all the things that make winter brighter and cozier, because it seems that so many of us struggle with the reality of winter once January hits. (I got a little sidetracked, first by norovirus, then a little bike crash, hence the delay. But no pity party here! It just reinforced the kindness of strangers, friends and family in supporting me when I was a little bit broken and vulnerable.)


Among the many varieties pictured: tiny Kishu Mandarins, giant pink Pomelo, oblong Mandarinquats, salmon-colored Cara Cara orange, three varieties of grapefruit

Blood Orange , Mango Orange, Mandarin Clementine

Blood Orange (top left), Mango Orange (center right), Mandarin Clementine (bottom center)

Cocktail Grapefruit

Cocktail Grapefruit, center

The varieties of citrus available are dizzying (and dazzling). I went on a citrus mission: to Heath Ranch Organics, Bi-Rite and the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market.


Here are a few of my favorite citrus-related things:

1. Remember that gorgeous citrus cake inspired by a dress? Worth another look.

2. I’ve been experimenting with citrus curds for my cookbook. Love these two versions: Sara’s meyer lemon curd at Sprouted Kitchen and Heidi’s Ginger Grapefruit Curd at 101 Cookbooks. And while the blood orange curd that I made didn’t turn out so well, perhaps if I had followed this recipe from Local Kitchen instead, it would have been a dramatic and gorgeous win. Kaela’s done her homework, and I appreciate that.

3. Love Aran’s Winter Salad on Cannelle et Vanille.

4. Tracy’s Coconut Lemon Scrub on Shutterbean. Yes!

5. Citrus is certain proof that we are loved, says Laura at The First Mess, and I couldn’t agree more.

6. I love everything on Yossy’s Apt 2B Baking Co, and these Rangpur Lime Bars and Mixed Citrus Marmalade are no exception.

7. I’ve had this strikingly-hued Beet, Seed and Blood Orange Cake on my to-make list since Kelsey posted it, almost a year ago! How does that happen? From Nigel Slater’s Tender, one of my very favorite cookbooks.


And a few from The Year in Food archives:

Citrus Brulee with Honey Cardamom Yogurt

Preserved Lemons

Orange Marmalade


From my visit to Heath Ranch:

Heath Ranch

Heath Ranch


Heath Ranch

I could go on! But we’ll leave it at that for now.

  • Ashley - So very pretty. We are living off citrus these days. We’re planning a CA trip in February and you can be sure I will stock up. My parents have a lemon tree in their yard. I can’t even believe the amazingness of that. (PS Testing recipes for your cookbook!! How cool is that?! Keep it up, girl!)ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - I was about to leave you a comment saying, “Oh… I bet you picked these in your backyard. I totally envy you.” And while they didn’t grow right in your backyard, I’m still jealous of all this fresh citrus you were able to find locally. How cool is that? Pretty darn cool! You know what else is cool? You. Yup… it’s true.

    Hope you have a great weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - I want to DIVE into these photos and gobble up all of that delicious citrus. I have been more hooked on citrus this year than ever before. It’s the first year I’ve actually tried making recipes with citrus in them [minus lemon]. Loving the results!ReplyCancel

  • Bowen - Oh how I love citrus season! Blood oranges are my favorite, and I worked on a blood orange curd recipe for years before I came up with the one I like the best (, simple yet tangy and a tiny bit bitter, like a good blood orange should be. (It’s the yellow one in the photos – usually would be more of a pink-orange sunset color, but my blood oranges that day weren’t very dark …)ReplyCancel

  • SG - i love the fine mist of citrus essence that bursts from the skin. oh citrus!

    glad to see you back on here and hope you are doing much much better! i just made your preserved lemons and eagerly await their preservation.ReplyCancel

  • Yossy | apt2bbakingco - Every year I am jealous of you Californians and your incredible, beautiful variety of citrus. I haven’t done much cooking yet this year because of my move, but a batch of that marmalade and some limoncello are pretty high on my list of things to make once we get more settled into our new place. Happy January to you, K! xxReplyCancel

  • sarah - So beautiful! I could stare at these photos all day.ReplyCancel

  • thelittleloaf - BEAUTIFUL photos. Just what I need to see during the cold winter months :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - I cannot tell you how very happy this post makes me.ReplyCancel

  • SaraC - <> Citrus in the cold, dark winter of New England is the promise of the returning light and warmth of the sun. These photos capture that so well that I want to enlarge them, print them out on fabric and make a shirt out of them…I won’t but I want to :) I crave citrus in winter to the point that some days all I eat are Clementines, oranges and even pomegranates. Yours is my absolute favorite food blog…goes to my spirit like an arrow very time. Thank you.

    PS: still waiting on that cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - Yay, citrus! It’s so delicious and super pretty besides. I actually have a grapefruit cake in the oven right now!ReplyCancel

  • Maria - Gorgeous photos, makes me long for summer! I can never get into citrus during these winter months, it’s so cold here in Jersey now. Definitely something to look forward to though…ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Just a little glance at these photos made my day, Kimberley. Our temperatures are in minus territory, but the sight of all that sweet citrus is so warming. Beautiful. So jealous of the sheer variety you have access to in California!

    And thank you for linking too, miss :)ReplyCancel

  • Janice - What a great post on a dreary day! It makes my mouth water and inspires me to put some citrus peel in a pan of boiling water on my stovetop – oh, the house smells wonderful!!!!! mmm mmm mmm!ReplyCancel

  • erin @ yummy supper - Kimberley, I’m so sorry to hear about your crash and illness!! What a horrible way to start the year.

    Smart of you to look to citrus for some cheering up. All that sparkly bright juicy beauty gets me every time.

    Wishing you good health,

  • Nicole - Citrus feast! I love all the shapes you can see when you cut them in half like that. It’s like a kaleidoscope.ReplyCancel

  • charlotte au chocolat - So sorry to hear your were sick and then injured. Hope you’re doing much better. Sending lots of healing thoughts your way. Oh, and these pictures are gorgeous. xoReplyCancel

  • Portakal Mortakal | Lezzet Club - […] of strangers, friends and family in supporting me when I was a little bit broken and vulnerable.) bu bir linktir I’ve been holding out for this post for months. Citrus makes me happy, and it’s one of those […]ReplyCancel

  • Linda - !!! Seeing all those citruses lined up makes my heart swell. I have to agree with Laura—certain proof indeed.

    Among my favorites: cara caras (I had my first a few weeks ago and am still reeling over its taste and hue), meyer lemons, satsumas, pomelos, are limes considered a citrus? :)ReplyCancel

  • NicoleD - These photos are gorgeous!! I love winter citrus with a passion, and if I’m not mistaken, I think you’re the one who inspired me to explore it a couple of years ago :) Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges, mandarins….so much love. Thanks for that!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Sounds kind of harrowing, but I’ll believe you if you say you’re OK. The citrus is so beautiful, and I love how the cool winter light looks glinting across all those lovely colors.ReplyCancel

  • John - Fantastic photos, so vibrant. Moving from Southern California to North Dakota several years ago made me realize how much I had taken for granted the easy availability of every kind of citrus in Southern California year round. Soon enough though I’ll have a greenhouse up here in chilly North Dakota and have oranges, tangerines, lines, and Meyer Lemons year round. Thanks for the Vitamin C pictorial pick up!!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife - Oh yum. Beautiful photos!

    I’m pregnant with my third child, and I have had some unusual cravings this time around…one of them being ALL citrus. MMM.

    And now its 11 PM and your photos are making me hungry.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah B. - That last photo of lemons, is killing me. Really really perfect. Hope you are well lady, and having fun writing for that cookbook :)) Citrus season is too good.ReplyCancel

  • 20 food blogs I find lovely | Naturally Ella - […] Love this Citrus post from her, the color is just amazing! […]ReplyCancel

  • Zuzana - The first photo is absolutely amazing!ReplyCancel

  • katrina - Where did you buy the pomelo? I used to live in Cambodia, and pomelos were one of my favorite fruits, but I don’t know where to buy them in the US, particularly Chicago – where I live now.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - Yikes! Sorry to hear you went through some rough times – I hope you are doing much better and I can’t wait to see you. Also, these photos are just stunning. Love me some citrus.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Harris - I have just discovered your Blog and love it! these citrus fruits have cheered me up in cold grey England!ReplyCancel

  • Bryan P - Oh man, amazing colors! I’m sad citrus doesn’t grow more up here.ReplyCancel

  • Sondra - Great to see another citrus fan. I have come across a variety if citrus trees throughout my neighborhood on my morning walks. Thankfully I have wonderful neighbors who are only to happy to share the bounty!ReplyCancel

  • Reiley Perry - I’m from FL, so I can understand your love for citrus! I particularly love grapefruits. I got my hands on Health On Your Plate and found out that red grapefruit is way more packed with Vitamins A and C than regular grapefruits. Good thing it’s so much more delicious ;)

    Great pics, thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - That top photo is so lovely. Nothing is prettier than citrus! Congrats on your nomination–I just found your blog via Saveur but am excited to explore and follow!ReplyCancel

  • Ali - nice postReplyCancel

  • Ceramic Cookware - citrus is really very good for winter. I love this type of fruit.ReplyCancel

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