The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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February 4, 2014

From gremolata to sangria, citrus fruits are more than snacks

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Brighten up ricotta: Ricotta cheese has a very mild flavor but with the addition of citrus juice and zest, it comes to life. Stir together 1 cup ricotta cheese, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of nutmeg and freshly ground black pepper. Smear on a whole wheat flatbread or pizza crust and top with trimmed and diced asparagus and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Finish with more fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Add color and extra “zip” to sangria: Sangria is typically served as a summertime beverage, but this winter version is perfect for entertaining. It’s perfumed with clementines and sliced pears, and garnished with fresh pomegranate arils.

Winter Sangria with Citrus and Pomegranate Serves 10 All you need 1 pear, washed, seeded and sliced 4 clementines or 2 tangelos, washed and sliced thinly 1 apple, washed, seeded and sliced 1 cup pomegranate arils 1/4 cup sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 bottle red wine 3 cups pomegranate juice 1 cup orange juice, ideally freshly squeezed Hy-Vee ginger ale or club soda for serving Ice cubes All you do In the bottom of a large glass pitcher or gallon jar, combine sliced fruit and pomegranate. Sprinkle with sugar and toss in the cinnamon stick. Stir in the red wine and the fruit juices. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours. To serve, remove cinnamon stick, and pour over ice into glasses. Top with ginger ale or club soda to taste. Garnish with more pomegranate arils if desired.

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