Today I am here to celebrate the citrus season, with their brightness, the joy they add to cold winter days, the liveliness they lend to rich dishes, or the depth of flavour they give to the simplest salads. In this episode, I’m sharing how I use them, when I’m not munching on clementines directly from a paper bag coming home from the market, juicing oranges and bergamots in the morning, or zesting a lemon in a cake batter.
You’ll find recipes for fresh dressings for pasta, like lemon tagliolini, recipes for your main courses, from beef skewers to guinea fowl with orange and roasted sea bream with lemons and bergamots, many side dishes and, of course, plenty of desserts. Last but not least, preserves: marmalade, which is the first preserve I make every year, changing from time to time the citrus fruit ratio, and candied orange and citron peels.
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Learn the Italian language of food word after word. Every year more than 200 people join our cooking classes. Speaking with them, I made a small dictionary of important words and pronunciations that can help you navigate through the immense world of Italian food. So, if you love Italian language as much as you love Italian cooking, these are a few words that can be useful for you.
Today’s word is marmellata – M – A – R – M – E – L – L – A – T – A. I already mentioned this word in the 17thepisode, but it is worth repeating it!
Marmellata is marmalade, so a preserve made with citrus fruits: oranges, bitter oranges, lemons, citrons, mandarins, whatever floats your boat.
In common language, though, often marmellata is a general word for jam, which would be confettura in Italian. So, you might find in a trattoria menu a dessert like crostata con marmellata di pesche, which would sound like a peach marmalade. Now you know what to expect!
I often pair lemon and clementines to chicken when I roast it, either whole or in pieces. Sometimes I add fennels, too. For example, in our book “From the markets of Tuscany”, there’s a recipe for a roast chicken with lemon and vinsanto.
At every market there’s at least one rotisserie serving roasted meats like spitfire chickens. Their enticing aromas catch your attention from afar, drawing you towards the array of meats and croquettes. My grandfather Biagio would take me to the rotisserie every Friday morning to pick up roasted potatoes, and my grandmother and I continue the tradition of an obligatory visit whenever we go to market. Occasionally I stop there on my own as well, but when I can’t, I follow this recipe of mine to immediately recreate the feeling of Sunday lunch with the family.