8 Citrus Dishes to Brighten Your Day
Where to find bright, summery dishes when the weather is dark and cold.
The crispy tofu at Anju is one of Gwendolyn Richards (author of the new cookbook, Pucker), favourite citrus dishes in the city.
When the snow is here to stay and the sun sets earlier and earlier, we need to find other ways to feel light and bright.
Alright, this chilly weather is not the only reason why we’re turning to citrus. Food writer and regular Avenue contributor Gwendolyn Richards’ first cookbook, Pucker, was just released. It’s a collection of recipes for all kinds of edibles and cocktails that utilize those citrus fruits that make you pucker (grapefruit, lemon, lime). Clever, right?
While there are many, many things in her book that should end up on your dinner table, like pizza with a lemon dressing or barley and lemon risotto, it’s also helped us appreciate all the lovely citrus in some great local restaurants.
Here are eight dishes that shine with the help of citrus, including some favourites of Richards’ as well, whether they make us pucker or not.
Anju Crispy Fried Tofu (Gwendolyn Richards’ pick)
This popular dish at Anju would definitely not be quite as special without the beautifully bright lemon aioli that helps cut through the crispy crunch of the breaded tofu and the spicy kimchi.
Bourbon Room Bourbon Sour (Gwendolyn Richards’ pick)
Sneak up to this cocktail room in the upper right hand side of National on 10th to enjoy some well-crafted cocktails you won’t find in any other National location (or even downstairs for that matter). Bourbon, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and egg whites make for a cocktail that is a little too easy to sip.
Briggs Kitchen and Bar Lemon Meringue Tart
Chef Xavier Lacaze’s spin on a lemon tart is topped with crispy little meringues and white chocolate shavings that makes a forkful of this dessert something similar to grabbing a little bit of sunshine shooting through the clouds.
Candela Crispy Seared Pork Belly
The citrus in the maple glaze for this piece of meat helps highlight the sweetness of the syrup and the salty goodness that we’ve all come to love about a well-prepared slice of pork belly.
Charcut Roast House Tuna Conserva
Without the addition of citrus, this tuna in-a-jar dish with pickled potatoes wouldn’t be as much of a menu favourite as it is now. Lemon helps to brighten up the tender flakes of this sustainable fish and is a great flavour match with the slight bit of char on the grilled crositini, which is served on the side.
Cucina House-marinated Olives
Olives are ubiquitous on restaurant menus these days, but when they’re warmed up with aromatics like fresh herbs and lemon peel, you get something salty and savoury to snack on before your meal that tastes leaps and bounds better than a few cold kalamatas.
Itza Bakeshop Lemon Tart (Gwendolyn Richards’ pick)
A well-made lemon curd is a wonderful thing and when it’s in a delicious, buttery pastry shell? Well, that’s even better. If you’ve never heard of this little bakeshop before, it’s located inside the Devenish building on the corner of 17th Avenue and 8th Street S.W.
(908 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-0044, itzabakeshop.com)
Yellow Door Bistro Dungeness Crab Salad
Definitely a signature now at this restaurant, Duncan Ly’s butter leaf and crab salad is peppered with grapefruit segments that have been brled, helping to bring out their sweetness.