Orange Rosemary Marmalade

My relatives on the East Coast have historically been the beneficiaries of our abundance of citrus. It tends to ripen all at the same time in February and March. I wash it and pack it into “if it fits – it ships” boxes along with a recipe for lemon bars, lemon chicken etc. There is always more than I can ship and the fruit starts dropping to the ground rendering it “lost”. This year I have decided to make marmalade.

I picked about six large oranges and scrubbed them well.

I prefer a more savory marmalade so I chose to add rosemary to the oranges. The rosemary is beautiful with its small blue flowers.

After scrubbing the oranges I sliced them very thinly and cut the disks into eighths. The sliced oranges, and six cups of water are added to a large pot and cooked at a full boil for about 45 minutes – or until reduced by about half. The orange rind should be quite soft. Add three cups of sugar and a handful of fresh rosemary to the pot and bring it to a boil again. Be careful to watch the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over – if it does just reduce the heat to control the situation. Once the mixture thickens (fifteen minutes or so) test it for readiness by putting a spoonful on a cold plate – wait a full minute and tilt the dish to see if it is runny or jam-like. If it is runny, continue to cook until a thicker consistency is obtained. Can the marmalade according to “Libby’s” instructions – boiling the jars and returning the filled containers to a hot bath to be sterilized (it’s really not as hard as it sounds).

Serve on toast or drizzled over honey yogurt.

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Simple – Steamed Artichokes

The most beautiful artichokes start arriving in March. Unscathed by their short trip over the Santa Cruz mountains to our local market they are green and blemish free. A short hour away in Castroville one can see artichoke bushes fading into the horizon in every direction. This is a dream come true for an Italian artichoke lover!

A very simple way to serve artichokes that showcases their wonderful flavor is to steam them and serve them with an herb and garlic mayonnaise.

I start by trimming the stem and the sharp side leaves. then slice the tight remaining leaves at the top.

I set the artichokes in a steamer over about 2 inches of water and steam until the stem is pierced easily by a fork. The dip is made by mixing mayonnaise with finely chopped fresh dill, a minced garlic clove and a twist of black pepper.

 

Using a grater dust the mayonnaise blend with some lemon zest to finish.

The final product – the purple choke in the center of the artichoke is easily scooped out with a spoon.

©All content property of Renee Fields and Farmer’s Market Table