Preserved Seville oranges….like preserved lemons are a miraculous flavour catalyst. They will work their magic in savoury and sweet dishes alike and couldn’t be easier to make. If you can’t get hold of Seville oranges, sweet oranges are a good replacement, their flavour is just as good, but slightly less intense.
You can use preserved oranges just as you would preserved lemons… scooping/scraping out and discarding the flesh, rinsing the preserved peel under cold water to wash away the excess salty brine. Then adding them (a little goes a long way) finely sliced or chopped into the casserole pot when slow cooking, especially good with beef or pork. Try them chopped into bulgar wheat, rice or cous-cous salad with lots of freshly chopped herbs and dry fried seeds and nuts.
They can also add a spark of citrus flavour on your baking days add them chopped as you would candied peel to fruit cakes, scones and biscuits. Also delicious when used to give additional flavour to chutneys and pickles….just have a play.
- 4 Seville oranges, cut into quarters
- juice from 3-4 large sweet oranges
- 4 heaped tbsp table salt
- 5 star anise
- 4 fresh or dry bay leaves
- 15 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- You will need a sterilised 1 litre screw top or clip top style preserving jar.
- Layer the seville orange quarters into the preserving jar, squeezing their juice into the jar as you go with the salt, spices and bay leaves.
- Push them down well by using your hands or wooden spoon and top up with freshly squeezed orange juice, making sure the oranges are completely covered with juice. Seal and give the jar a gentle shake every day for the first week to encourage the salt to dissolve into the orange juice. Then leave for at least a month, preferably for two or three before using. They will keep for up to 12 months as long as they get kept well submerged in the brining liquid. Store in a cool place.
Preserving the unique bitter citrus flavour of Seville oranges in a sweet and sour spicy brine that can be used in a variety of different cooking methods in the months to come.
When the Seville orange season rocks up the hellebores make their perennial presence in the garden, pushing up their shy, bowing and beautiful faces to the cold and frosty ground.