Here in New England, March brings late winter greens to the market. And citrus fruits at their glorious peak of flavor and color from warm weather places. It’s time to put away the braising pans and dutch ovens and replace our winter meals with transitional dishes that are lighter, more seasonal in flavor and more colorful. Think braised leeks, grapefruit mousse, orange and black olive salad, pancakes with fresh maple syrup, shad roe with black butter, rapini with penne and parmesan, and arugula and goat cheese salads.
Jazz up your pantry items and kick-start your taste buds as well. Begin with the just-released, new harvest Meyer Lemon Oil from our friends Kim and Albert Katz of Katz & Co. Meyer lemons have a superb flavor that is milder, but more complex than our everyday lemons – a cross between a tangerine and a lemon might begin to get the idea across. Katz & Co Meyer lemon has a gorgeous, delicate but persistent citrus aroma and flavor, and yes, the flavor of the olive oil comes through with a nice, fresh ‘bite’. I find hints of green herbs in the aroma even though none have been added.
You will reach for this oil again and again. Use it with vegetable dishes, grilled or broiled fish, and to adorn a simple but perfect baby spinach salad – it’s a taste of spring and the American Mediterranean ( California ) in a bottle.