Deep-fried Citrus Slices
I don’t always bother with an accompaniment for these, but when I do, I make this yogurt dip. You can replace the fennel with any of the flavor suggestions mentioned above, or indeed anything else you fancy.
- 2 –3 citrus fruits a variety is good
- 7 tablespoons buttermilk
- Generous 1/2 cup plain all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon semolina or fine cornmeal
- A neutral-tasting oil such as groundnut or sunflower, for deep-frying
A PINCH OF...
- Smoked chili chipotle or hot smoked paprika (for lime slices)
- Herbes de Provence or za’atar for orange slices
- Fennel pollen or sumac for lemon slices
FOR THE YOGURT DIP
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
- A pinch of sugar
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
If serving with the dip, make this first – simply mix everything together and season with salt and pepper.
Top and tail the citrus fruit to the point where you get a good showing of flesh as opposed to pith and skin. Slice the fruit as finely as possible while keeping each slice intact, removing any pips.
Put the buttermilk in a bowl. Put the flour and semolina onto a plate and season with salt and pepper, then whisk briefly to combine and get rid of any lumps.
Dip the citrus slices in the buttermilk and shake or lightly scrape them to get rid of any excess. Drop the slices into the flour mixture and give the plate a little shake. Flip over and repeat. Dust off any excess – you don’t want a thick coating as you want to see the detail from the citrus through the batter.
Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a heavy-based saucepan or fryer to about 180ºC/350ºF. Fry the slices a few at a time – when they start to go golden brown remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with kitchen paper. The slices will continue to brown once they are removed and will be nicely caramelized in patches.
Sprinkle with salt, then the corresponding spices and/or herbs for each fruit and serve with yogurt dip, if you like.
From Citrus by Catherine Phipps, photos by Mowie Kay, used with permission from Quadrille (2017).