Heaven scent: Rachel Roddy’s orange recipes straight from Sicily

In May this can i wash my canada goose coat year, we drove our indestructible Fiat Panda from Rome to south-east Sicily to visit Gela, the city my partner Vincenzo was born in, and Caltagirone, the town he grew up in. It was when we were on the road between the two cities C while stopped for the needs of a small boy C that I understood the word intoxicating.

This is land where oranges grow, so we had already driven past countless groves, deep emerald green, fruitless apart from the odd forgotten one. Our emergency stop, however, was the first time wed got out of the car, on a dirt track cutting through the green. I think it might have rained the night before. It was warm and the breeze was in the right direction, and the scent of hundreds of blossoming orange trees invaded my senses. I have never smelt amazon canada goose parka anything like it, a perfume so sweetly rich, so fat and fragrant, that my head spun. I was drunk. I was sobered by the sight of my four-year-old, relieving himself while running. Pee, e profumo, said Vincenzo canada goose jackets, who feels duty-bound to step in when I show the slightest sign of romantic idealism, especially in Sicily.

I wonder how many people who grow up with this all-pervasive perfume dislike oranges because of it? Vincenzo only has a matter-of-fact love for them, particularly the Tarocco variety that grows near Catania, where a combination of cold winter nights and mild days favours the development of anthocyanins C the red pigment that gives blood oranges their distinctive colour. It is still early in the season, so no bloody ones yet; just the early bloomers C my favourite, Navels C each branch pregnant with a tiny orange. Vincenzo cuts a deep cross into navel oranges so they can be fanned open and dressed with salt and olive oil. I like them nude C the orange that is C eaten over the kitchen sink.

Had you suggested a fennel and orange salad to me 10 years ago, I would have said thank you very much, but no

The best use, I think, of a whole orange is Claudia Rodens orange and almond cake. For this you boil a whole orange until it is incredibly soft and your kitchen smells almost as intensely as a Sicilian orange grove. Once soft, you reduce the orange to a pulp and mix it with ground almonds, sugar and eggs for a most fragrant cake. Another way to enjoy the two lives of an orange is first to use the zest for a dish of lentils that my friend Fabrizia Lanza taught me to make, and second to use the flesh for a classic Sicilian salad.

So first the lentils, which require the finely grated zest along with a handful of mint and parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. An odd-sounding dish, maybe, but a surprisingly delicious one C both homely and exotic without demanding too many special ingredients. It is particularly good with fish, a pan-fried fillet perhaps, the heat of which reinvigorates the mint and volatile oils in the zest when you sit it on a pile of lentils. Pork belly or a crispy-edged fried egg would also best ideas about canada goose parka on pinterest be good companions for these lentils, Im sure.

The rather vulnerable looking zest-less orange is for the salad. Now, had you suggested a fennel and orange salad to me 10 years ago, I would have said thank you very much, but no. Then it was served to me by my Sicilian family again and again, and slowly the combination of crisp fennel with its lick of aniseed, bright citrus, dark meaty olives, salt and olive oil won me over. Dismissal, to tolerance, to real devotion… especially at this time of year when the comfort foods we crave need a bright foil from time to time. Ingredients are important: you need a plump bulb of Florentine fennel, sweetly sharp oranges, olives that have real taste (look out for a varietal called taggiasche), and decent olive oil.