I am back from points west and while it may not have been all that warm (actually, it was downright freezing during most of my visit to Southern California), it was sunny and there was fruit on the trees! I came back with three lemons in my bag that had been plucked off the small, potted backyard tree of friends and handed to me as a gift the day before I departed.
I also came home with a small bottle of meyer lemon agrumato that I bought at a farmers’ market in L.A. An olive oil in which lemons (or other citrus fruits) are crushed together with the olives in the same mill, agrumato has a pure fruit flavor. I had never tasted it before, but all the things I’d read about it are true – the clear, acidic aroma of the lemon rings loud and clear and mingles with the peppery flavor of the olives to create a delightfully fragrant oil. This afternoon, I combined a spoonful of the oil with a squeeze of juice from one of the lemons and tossed them together with a grated carrot and sunflower sprouts (from my winter CSA box and my neighborhood farmers’ market, respectively) for a bright little salad that combined local ingredients from two coasts. The combination of colours and crunch and citrusy zing helped a little bit in easing back into January in NYC.