Clementines

I’m beginning to think that Clementines are the perfect winter food item for busy people.  They are very portable, easy to peel and usually seedless, which makes them very easy to eat.  They are small, so they can fit in a white coat pocket.  Two or three make a great fruit portion so you can feel righteous in your good food choices.  They are really sweet, too, so eating them feels like a real treat. You can buy them by the pound in some stores, but more commonly they come in a box.

Clementines are hesperidiums (a subset of citrus fruit).  They are a small type of mandarin orange.   (the same as you get in the cans).  They are more perishable than oranges, so keep them in the refrigerator crisper drawer.

“The origin of clementines is shrouded in mystery. Some attribute their discovery to father Clement, a monk in Algeria, who tending his mandarin garden in the orphanage of Misserghim, found a natural mutation. He nurtured the fruit tree and subsequently called it “clementino”. Others, like Japanese botanist Tanaka, believe that clementines must have originated in Asia and found their way through human migration to the Mediterranean. Whatever their origin, the fact is that clementines found their natural climate and soil in Spain, where they developed their particular aroma, sweetness and taste. Commercial production of clementines began in Spain in 1925. Today there are 161,000 acres dedicated to the cultivation of clementines.” (From producepete.com)

Clementines are a great addition green salads, grain salads, chopped vegetable salad, jicama salad … really any kind of salad.

clementine-salad

Here are some other recipes, some easy (within the “pizza rule” and others that take a little more effort – good for cooking on a day off.

Chicken Paillards with Clementine Salsa – Paillard just means a flattened out chicken breast – you can use this salsa on plain chicken breasts or fish if you prefer.  You can use clementine gremolata (another kind of salsa) on chicken or fish, too.

Chicken-with-Clementine-Salsa

Caramelized Bay Scallops with Clementines and Cauliflower

carmelized-bay-scallops

Clementine-Chipotle Roasted Chicken Served with Yellow Rice and Avocados

Clementine Cake

Clementine-cake

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