It’s that time of year again – Seville Oranges are about to hit the shops. However, you can’t eat them – they’re insanely sharp, stringent taste and sheer number of pips make it impossible – but don’t let that put you off. They have other uses and I’m not talking just about marmalade.

Treat them like lemons and you will be richly rewarded. Their zest and juice is perfect for pepping up sweet and savoury dishes alike.

For a start try combining them with fish. The juice works brilliantly with both cooked and raw. Scallop ceviche for example, thinly sliced, mixed with chilli, coriander and seville orange juice is superb and makes a delicious and unusual first course. But if marinated raw fish isn’t your bag, and to be fair it isn’t everyone’s idea of culinary heaven, try something a bit more conventional.

A suitably zippy sauce for cooked fish, is 2/3 hot melted butter to 1/3 Seville orange juice, a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, plus a few grinds of salt and pepper drizzled over pan fried fish just before serving.

Substitute their juice instead of lemon for homemade mayonnaise (trust me, if you’ve got  a food processor or liquidiser it’s made in seconds). Spread it over granary bread with crabmeat, avocado and watercress and you’ve got yourself a sandwich to die for.

One of my favorite uses for this versatile and delectable fruit is to make up large tubs of Clove & Orange Sorbet.  I make enough to last the year because it has an intriguing grown up flavour and is wonderfully refreshing.

And if like me you have a weakness for creamy desserts, you simply must try Tangy Orange Syllabub. The combination of sharp orange juice mixed with sugar and whipped cream is sensational –  try not going back for seconds – it’s impossible!

I just love the simplicity and sophistication of these two desserts. They’re not too sweet, they’re incredibly easy to make and have enough ‘wow’ factor to be served at any dinner party.

And if you were thinking about making some marmalade, rather than go to all that bother and fuss, what about making some orange curd instead? This recipe is neither too sweet or too cloying and makes a perfect afternoon treat spread thickly over soft white bread with a cup of tea.

But a word of caution, don’t hang about. Act now because the season is seriously short. Here today and gone tomorrow – well not literally but they will be by mid February latest. And then you’ll have to wait another year before they come round again. But the good news is, they freeze well – either whole or juiced – so what are you waiting for???

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