Tasia and Gracia Seger's best tips with citrus

Coles ambassadors Tasia and Gracia have put together a list of their best tips from the kitchen when it comes to in-season Austalian citrus. From flavour matches and lemon curd tips to no waste ideas, these tips will help you master the basics when it comes to citrus.

Tasia and Gracia Seger

Tasia and Gracia recommend freezing any excess lemon or lime juice to make use of it for months to come.

Top cooking tips:

Grill on the barbecue

Cut the lemon in half crosswise and discard any visible seeds. Set the lemons cut-side-down on the hot grill or in the frying pan. Cook until the lemons are heated through and charred on the cut side, about 3 minutes. This not only looks spectacular on a plate, but heating lemons helps loosen and release their juices. Grilled lemons are delicious alongside grilled salmon and add plenty of citrus freshness to grilled meats and seafood as well as roast chicken. It also works well on grilled vegetables, too!

No-waste idea: candying

To candy citrus peel, first peel the citrus into large chunks and simmer in pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and repeat the process two times. Bring 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to the boil and add the citrus peel. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the peels with slotted spoon, dust with sugar and let dry on a baking sheet line with baking paper. Once completely dry, transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months.

Dehydrated citrus

Dehydrated citrus using lemons, mandarins, oranges and limes is a great way to preserve them for future use. We love using dehydrated citrus for making cocktails, adding them to water to create infused and flavoured water, as well as adding them to teas.

Simply place thin round slices of the citrus into a dehydrator if you have one (most air fryers on the lowest temperature setting work as a dehydrator). Or alternatively lay the thin round slices on an oven tray and cook at 55°C or the lowest temperature setting overnight for large citrus such as oranges and grapefruits, or 3-4 hours for smaller citrus.

Perfect lemon curd

Even though lemon curd seems easy to make, it can easily turn from being simple to a disaster. A big tip to make a perfect lemon curd is in the quality of the ingredients and the double boiling method. The reason for this is mixing the ingredients over direct heat quickly leads to burning, making it easy to split or curdle.

Place a heatproof glass bowl on top of a larger pot. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Don’t forget if you are after that sunshine yellow colour, use white caster sugar instead of raw sugar. To make, mix together egg yolks, caster sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in your heatproof glass bowl. Whisk and cook until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Constant whisking prevents the egg yolks from curdling. Once desired consistency is achieved remove from heat and add cubed unsalted butter. Pour curd into a jar or bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd to avoid a skin forming on top. Refrigerate for up to 8 days.

For a great base recipe, try our easy lemon curd.

Zesty flavour matches: Citrus goes well with…

  • Grilled salmon or barramundi: try lemon butter sauce or simply a squeeze directly on your fish.
  • Fresh oysters: Adding just a few drops of lemon will shine the oyster briny flavour without dominating them.
  • Chicken salad: Adding mandarin segments into your everyday chicken salad will add the perfect pop of brightness and taste refreshing. For the dressing mix rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce and vegetable oil and a little bit of orange juice or lime or lemon juice.

Go to recipe

Zesty papaya salad is the perfect dish which we love to create using both limes and lemons. Garlic and chilli are pounded into a paste in a mortar and pestle. To this we add palm sugar, fish sauce, lemon juice, lime wedges and continue to pound gently to mix until the sauce is well combined. Add the julienned young papaya, snake beans (2cm long slices), cherry tomatoes, dried shrimp (optional) and continue pounding and mixing until the vegetables are lightly bruised. Make sure to find the balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and umami!  Finish with roasted peanuts.

Handy hack

Pour fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice into cube trays and once frozen, transfer to freezer bags. Store in the freezer for several months.