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Citrus and Zucchini Confit

Renée Robinson

A New Way to Enjoy My Favorite Citrus!

One of my greatest joys, amongst many, of my recent move north, is the discovery of a sensational grocery store. In fact, I’ve never seen anything like it. One of the outstanding departments is the produce section. It is humongous, with a much larger selection than I’ve previously experienced. Seeing as how it’s just about the peak of citrus season, I bought navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges, clementines, Meyer Lemons, and eureka lemons. 

Deciding what to do with these glorious citrus fruits couldn’t have been more fun. I made a tart, cookies, salads, etc. Then I ran into a recipe from Nik Sharma for a confit of lemons and that led me down the road to this post. While I loved his idea, I wanted something quite different. 

I only used one lemon because I wanted mine to be more orange centric. So, I sliced up a navel orange, one Cara Cara, and 3 clementines. I also wanted other savory notes and had bought some beautiful small zucchini. So, I added 2 of those, along with a red bell pepper, whole garlic cloves, and a sliced shallot.

After tossing everything with salt, plenty of nigella seeds ,* and dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) ,* I realized I needed a tiny bit of brown sugar. Not enough to make it sweet, but only enough to balance and emphasize the citrus flavors. The dried fenugreek leaves * are optional, but I love their deep savory flavor and think they added a beautiful herbal note of flavor.  

I wanted some heat in this so I tucked in whole dried Kashmiri * and habanero chilies .*  At that point it was simply a matter of pouring on plenty of olive oil, making sure the fruits and vegetables were completely submerged. This took a lot of olive oil – 6 cups. You could easily cut the recipe in half. But I had quite a few plans on how I was going to use this confit and I wanted plenty of it.

I baked it in a slow oven – 275° – for 2 hours until all the ingredients were fully softened. Then I let it sit until it had fully cooled. The smell alone was killing me. You can probably imagine how all those ingredients melded together. 

The first night we ate it by spooning it onto toasts that were first spread with some creamy goat cheese I’d mixed with a little heavy cream, honey, and black pepper. 

Since then we’ve eaten it as a simple pasta sauce by chopping it up coarsely and stirring it into pasta, along with some pasta water, and then topping it with plenty of pecorino and sliced scallions.

Its silky texture and complex flavor are exactly what I’d hoped for and I’ll be eating it in myriad ways. I’ll be spooning it over crispy chicken thighs, using the oil for vinaigrettes and as a finishing oil for veggies, etc. I’m also going to pick up some burrata the next time I’m at the store and can only imagine how good this will be served on a platter with that creaminess oozing into the confit and scooping it up with crusty bread.

I’m not certain how long this will last covered in the fridge, but I made it a couple of weeks ago and it’s still going strong. I think it will definitely last for at least a month or so as I figure out even more ways to enjoy it.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, may pay me a small commission and help support the costs of this website. Read full privacy policy here.

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Citrus and Zucchini Confit

Recipe by Renée Robinson
Servings

15+

servings

Oranges, clementines, lemon, zucchini, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, shallots, and dried chilies are covered in olive oil and seasonings, and slow baked for a couple of hours. The outcome is a savory and silky melange of both deep and bright flavors, which is well suited for scooping up with toast, using as a simple pasta sauce, spooning over chicken, or combining with soft cheeses. What a fantastic way to enjoy citrus fruits at their peak!

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Ingredients

  • Citrus and Zucchini Confit
  • 2 2 oranges ( I used 1 navel and 1 cara cara), ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and then thinly sliced, peels and all

  • 3 3 clementines, ends trimmed, thinly sliced, peels and all

  • 1 large 1 lemon, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and then thinly sliced, peel and all

  • 2 small 2 zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

  • 1 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips

  • 1 head 1 garlic, cloves separated and peeled, but left whole

  • 1 large 1 shallot, sliced into rings

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Diamond kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons 2 nigella seeds *

  • 1 1 heaping teaspoon kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) ,* optional

  • 3 3 whole dried Kashmiri chilies *

  • 2 2 whole dried habanero chilies *

  • 6 cups 6 extra virgin olive oil

  • Crusty bread, cut into slices and toasted

  • Goat Cheese Spread
  • 4 ounces 4 soft goat cheese, room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons 3 heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 black pepper, coarsely ground

Directions

  • Citrus and Zucchini Confit
  • Preheat oven to 275° with a rack in the center. In a 3 quart baking dish, combine the first 11 ingredients (oranges through kasoori methi), tossing well with your hands. Tuck the dried chilies into the mixture and pour on the olive oil. The exact amount of olive oil needed will depend on the depth of your dish. You want everything to be engulfed in olive oil. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 2 hours. Check to make sure the orange rinds are completely softened. If they need a little more time, pop them back in the oven and check them every 15 minutes, until they're softened. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Spread a little of the honey goat cheese on the toast and add a spoonful of the confit to each slice. Dig in and Enjoy!
  • Goat Cheese Spread
  • In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese with a fork. Stir in the heavy cream, honey, and black pepper.

4 Responses

  1. Absolutely delicious! Served it plain with roasted chicken thighs, with goat cheese on crusty bread, and I can’t stop noshing on it. Thank you!!

    1. Yay!!!! I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying it, Indira. We’re having it tonight with roast chicken. I can’t stop eating it, too. Lol!! Thanks so much for letting me know you made it!

    1. Surati, it works perfectly as a savory chutney. That’s essentially what it is. I really love it. Thank you so much!

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