These bursts of sun are an easy way to brighten any—or every—course.

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roasted oranges
Credit: Nico Schinco

During November, the word "roast" is most often used to describe a certain gobbler, but that beloved turkey is not the only food that deserves a turn in the oven. To wake up the Thanksgiving meal, we also apply the idea of roasting to citrus wedges. Just toss pieces of oranges, clementines, tangerines, and Meyer lemons with olive oil, water, and a sprinkle of salt, then slide them in the oven for a little over an hour to soften the rinds, sweeten the pulp, and caramelize the juices. Once done and chopped up, you'll see that roasted citrus is an easy-squeezy way to brighten every course: Add them to a turkey rub or ham glaze; stir them into your gravy, cranberry sauce, or stuffing; or spoon them over vanilla ice cream for a spontaneous sundae. Here's our easy technique for making roasted citrus.

How to Roast Citrus Pieces

All you need is two pounds of thin-skinned citrus fruit, such as navel oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, or Meyer lemons, or a mix of these fruits plus extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling) and kosher salt. This technique only takes about five minutes of hands-on work but you'll need to allow time for roasting, then cooling the citrus pieces. They can also be made ahead of when you need them, just cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Scrub and halve the citrus, quarter any that are large; remove the seeds. Then arrange the pieces on a rimmed quarter sheet pan or in 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup water, then season lightly with salt. Cover tightly with parchment-lined foil and roast until the fruit collapses and its skin is easily pierced with the tip of a knife. This will take roughly one hour to one hour, 15 minutes.

Then uncover and continue to roast until the citrus is caramelized in places, about 15 minutes more. Let cool completely before using.

Food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich

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