Real Food Menu for the Whole Gang with Seasonal Citrus

Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook 

Jerry Traunfeld’s Root Ribbons with Sage

Cuban Oregano Chicken 

Orange, Almond, and Olive Oil Cake

‘Tis the Citrus Season even if the citrus comes from a bit of a distance. No worries, if we don’t grow our own citrus (wintering indoors), Florida is not that far away for the bounty of vitamin C. Each of the dishes for the menu are sparked with citrus and the dessert olive oil cake has lemon and orange cooked in a new technique then pureed to a zesty pulp which adds flavor and keeps the cake moist.

A highly recommended book is included here from a glorious restaurant and herb farm of the Pacific Northwest.



About growing your own citrus, Homestead Gardens has sweet little Meyer Lemon trees which flourish outside in the summer of our region and tuck inside nicely during the cold months. Soon to come are lime trees. Get em now as they go quickly and last for years. The herbs used in this menu are also available year ‘round at our place.

Jerry Traunfeld’s Root Ribbons with Sage

From The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor (William Morrow, 2005)

Since 1990 Jerry Traunfeld has headed the kitchen at The Herbfarm Restaurant, where he creates herb-inspired Northwest menus each week. Since he took over the stoves, the restaurant has garnered unanimous national acclaim as a premier dining destination. In 2000, Jerry won the James Beard Award for Best American Chef in the Northwest and Hawaii. His first book, The Herbfarm Cookbook, won the 2000 IACP award for best cookbook by a restaurant or chef. Jerry lives in Seattle with his partner, Stephen.

I perused the customer reviews (which were glowing) and basically said the same thing, the recipes are straight forward, simple and turn out looking just like the many photos in the book. As a food stylist, I know it’s the real thing-no embellishing just for a good photo. Here is a stellar review from SSJ “shoeboxgirl” (Japan)

If you’ve always cooked with herbs, but always rushed off to the grocery store to get them fresh for your recipes, now is the time to stop and pick them fresh out of your own garden or pot! This book has a lot of great detailed information about how to grow, cut and cook with herbs. There are also a lot of pictures so you’re not left wondering what something, you may never have seen before, should look like. The recipes are easy and tasty, the information is simple and this book makes a great gift or center piece on any coffee table. You’ll be entertaining guests with your new recipes, indoor herb pots and wonderful cookbook, while explaining it all, in no time.

Jerry Traunfeld’s Root Ribbons with Sage

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds medium root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, burdock, rutabegas, yams, parsley root, or salsify (avoid beets)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter



  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sage
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Wash and peel the roots and discard the peelings. Continue to peel the vegetables from their tops to the root tips to produce ribbons, rotating the roots on their axis a quarter turn after each strip is peeled, until you’re left with cores that are too small to work with. (You can snack on these or save them for stock.) Alternately, you may use a mandoline.

Melt the butter with the sage in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir for a minute to partially cook the sage. Add the root ribbons and toss them with tongs until they begin to wilt. Add the salt, a good grinding of black pepper, the maple syrup, lemon juice, and about 3/4 cup of water.

Continue to cook the vegetables over medium heat, turning them with tongs every minute or so, until all the liquid boils away and the ribbons are glazed and tender, about 10 minutes total. Serve right away, or cool and reheat in the skllet when ready to serve.

Cuban Oregano Chicken 

This is a carefree approach to chicken tenders seasoned with fresh Cuban oregano. Rinse the chicken tenders and pat dry. sprinkle with salt and pepper, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Bake in a hot (425F) oven for about 15-20 minutes. Spread a nice blanket of thinly sliced Cuban oregano over the top.


Orange, Almond, and Olive Oil Cake (By Colleen McGlynn of DaVero)

The Boston Globe says, “This cake is easy, moist, & always comes out looking perfect. ” I say it is fun to make because it is unique and easy once the fruit puree and nuts are prepared.

  • 2 small oranges
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 6 oz toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Confectioners’ powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place whole oranges & lemon in a pan & cover with water. Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and  cool.

Cut lemon in half ; discard pulp & seeds. Cut oranges in half & discard ONLY seeds. Chop lemon rind & orange halves finely in food processor fitted with a metal blade.

Sift flour & baking powder together into a bowl & set aside.

Place eggs & salt in a mixing bowl & beat until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar. Gently fold mixture into flour. Add chopped fruit, almonds, & olive oil. Beat slowly until just incorporated. Do not over-mix!

Pour batter into 10” springform pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, testing with a toothpick.

Allow to cool on a rack. Remove from springform pan, place on a serving plate and dust top with confectioner’s sugar.