Eastern Europe: Citrus in Rosemary Syrup


The last few bites of our Eastern European Spicebox Supperclub were some of my favorites.  For the third part of our dessert trio, Nalin treated us to a light and elegant dessert–  a medley of seasonal citrus in an herbal rosemary syrup.  The brightness of the citrus contrasted nicely with the rich crunch of chopped pistachios.

Sweet Citrus Rosemary Medley

Recipe adapted from the Shiksa in the Kitchen.

Servings: 8

Kosher Key: Pareve, Kosher for Passover

Prep Time: 30 Minutes


4 1/2 lbs oranges – navel, cara cara, tangerines, moro blood oranges or a mix (if using smaller oranges, you may need more)

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 sprigs rosemary

2 tbsp pistachios – if you have nut allergies, omit

8 dates, sliced or chopped

8 sprigs mint for garnish (optional)


1. Combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Add the fresh rosemary sprigs and reduce heat to a simmer. Let the syrup simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Leave the rosemary sprigs to steep as the syrup cools.

2. Use a sharp paring knife or serrated knife to slice off the peel down the sides of the orange. Remove as much peel and white pith as possible. Try not to slice into the fruit itself (a little of the fruit will inevitably get sliced… just be as careful as you can). Once the peel is removed, slice the orange into thin ¼ inch rounds. Reserve slices and repeat process for remaining oranges.

3. When rosemary syrup has completely cooled, remove the rosemary with a slotted spoon and strain the syrup through a wire mesh strainer. Spread the peeled slices out in a pie dish or similar ceramic or glass container. Pour the rosemary syrup over them. If you’re using blood oranges/moro oranges, store those slices separately from the lighter colored slices in their own quantity of rosemary syrup, otherwise they will cause the lighter oranges and syrup to take on a reddish color. Cover the dish and refrigerate the orange slices for at least 2 hours, up to 2 days. Re-layer the orange slices every so often to make sure they’re all equally exposed to the sweet syrup.

4. Before serving, chop the pistachios in a food processor or coffee grinder into very fine pieces, somewhere in between chunks and powder, to create a coarse pistachio meal. Slice each date into thin strips. To serve, divide the chilled marinated orange slices between 8 small dessert plates. Drizzle each serving with 1-2 tbsp rosemary syrup, just enough to moisten (you will have leftover syrup, which you can use to flavor drinks). Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped pistachios and top each orange slice with a date strip. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve. Note: If you have nut allergies, you can leave out the pistachios. The oranges taste delightful in their syrup without any additions, so if you want to keep things simple feel free to serve the oranges on their own in a glass dessert bowl garnished with mint.

Thanks for coming by! This is the last post of the Spicebox Supperclub’s Eastern European dinner.  If you missed them, please visit the overview of our lovely menu to see the rest of that fantastic meal.  We’ll be taking a break for a few months, so check back soon.  Who know where the Spicebox Supperclub will be taking you next?

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