Yuzu is a captivating versatile citrus that has been valued in Asian cuisines for centuries. This twist on an Italian condiment employs the yuzu in a fusion-style preparation. The young green yuzu fruit of September has turned a mellow golden yellow. Both the young green and the mature yellow fruits are used in cooking, so we’ve enjoyed fabulous yuzu all through autumn and winter. The rind is very aromatic, the juice is tart. Yuzu adds a striking bright note to vegetables. Its flavors are more complex than lemon – maybe like a combination of grapefruit plus mandarin orange with a hint of sour lime? Pair the zest with pine nuts, garlic, and a pinch of salt – and this gremolata will brighten up any winter roasted vegetable dish!
Originally from Southeast Asia, the yuzu does quite well here in my Southern California garden. Due to its cold hardiness, yuzu is one of few citrus trees that can withstand temperatures that dip below freezing. My friends in cooler climes might just consider planting a yuzu too? It needs plenty of sun in both summer and winter, excellent drainage, and regular feeding. It does best in an area out of the wind, and be sure to take into account its long sharp thorns when deciding on placement. Having fresh yuzu on hand is a cook’s true delight.
roasted carrot and parsnip
pignoli yuzu gremolata
Toss vegetables of your choice with olive oil, salt, and pepper then roast in a 425° oven until they begin to caramelize. Meanwhile, zest the yuzu fruit. Chop lightly-toasted pignoli with a garlic clove or two. And a pinch of Kosher salt and the yuzu zest to the pignoli/garlic mixture and chop to combine all the ingredients. Serve roasted veggies sprinkled with pignoli yuzu gremolata. The pignoli add richness, the yuzu adds brightness, and the raw garlic adds intensity to the vegetable dish.