Clementine consumption #1
Well, the holidays are incontestably over for this year. Some of you are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief: an empty (emptier) social calendar, fewer guests and less traveling, no more Christmas music at-all-times-everywhere….

But some of you, equally doubtlessly, have a case of the post-holiday blues — to which I’d like to suggest a cure of a different color: orange.

While the holiday season is over, clementine season is in full swing. These tiny little oranges, originally a Spanish cross between the mandarin and Seville breeds, are one of my favorite bright lights when I have a case of winter doldrums. Not only are they extremely high in vitamin C (just one can contain up to half a day’s RDA, according to Cooking Light), but they lend themselves to a variety of tasty, gluten-free recipes — if you can just resist eating them straight from the crate.

  • If you’re trying to get your body back in shape after a holiday lapse, Cooking Light offers a recipe for Jeweled Clementines with Vanilla Sauce that will look and taste far more indulgent than it really is.
  • Along the same calorie-aware note, the BBC recommends this Clementine, Feta and Winter Leaf Salad with chicory, watercress and fennel. If you don’t like (or don’t have access to) those all greens, anything with a bit of a bite (like arugula) would work just as nicely.
  • Those Brits also gave us Jamie Oliver, who recommends pairing Clementines with Smoked Salmon. Of course, his recipe has a slice of bread in it — use your favorite gluten-free toast, or skip it altogether.
  • For a more substantial main course, Gourmet magazine offers a Glazed Duck with Clementine Sauce that amps up the citrus flavor with a dash of Grand Marnier or Mandarine Napoléan liqueur. Conveniently, it uses arrowroot as a gluten-free thickener.
  • And, to send us on our merry citrus way, Nigella Lawson of the Food Network has crafted a simple, five-ingredient Clementine Cake that, thanks to a base of ground almonds and eggs, is naturally gluten-free and has notable amounts of protein.

What’s your favorite way to eat clementines?