Friday, March 20, 2009

Tangerine dreams

Reading the poetry on my husband's blog this morning, I recalled my tangerine tree in my backyard in Sacramento. It's grown huge (so much for the dwarf designation on its lable). The tangerines this year were a bit tart, but still very tasty, I thought. They had seeds, so they weren't that easy to eat out of hand (unless you had just picked them and you could just spit out the seeds in the yard). Jim squeezed a whole quart of juice from them once; he said it was much harder than any orange juice he had ever made. I guess that's why you don't see much tangerine juice offered commercially.

Lori K's tangerine asparagus

1 pound asparagus, trimmed (see note)
Olive oil (preferably extra-virgin, in a spray bottle)
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt
2 tangerines or a large can of Mandarin oranges
1/3 cup fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
1 teaspoons grated tangerine peel or orange peel
1 garlic clove, pressed or a 1/2 teaspoon garlic juice
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
4 tablespoons pine nuts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread asparagus in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan or on a broiler pan; spray with oil and season with pepper. Roast asparagus until crisp-tender, 8 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a platter and season with sea salt to taste; cool.
Using sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from tangerines. Cut between membranes to release segments and remove seeds, if any. Arrange tangerine segments atop asparagus. Whisk juice, vinegar, sesame oil, peel, garlic and ginger in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
Note: The best way to trim asparagus ends, although it may result in uneven spears, is to bend the stalk as near to the end as possible until it snaps. The stalk above the snap will be tender. The remaining stalk is woody and tough. They should go in the compost pile.

1 comment:

  1. We had TWO tangerine trees in Fair Oaks. I miss plucking a little mandarin from the tree, slicing a little incision with my fingernail and inhaling that lovely aroma!