By Chefs Curtis and Esin Decarion of Café Esin
Citrus is important to our cooking at Café Esin, perhaps because it is embedded in our backgrounds. Esin and I grew up in different countries—she is from Turkey and I am from Miami—but both of us had fruit trees at our homes as children. I had kumquats, oranges, avocados, mangoes, and bananas trees. Esin had Seville oranges, lemons, and tangerines, along with many other fruits and vegetables. As a young child I would pick the kumquats, eat some of the puckery fruit and then throw some at friends. I didn’t realize their value until later in life. Esin’s mother would make jams with the Seville oranges and her family would utilize the lemons and other citrus in many Mediterranean dishes.
If we had to choose one citrus as a favorite at Café Esin it would be the lemon. It is quite versatile and will brighten the flavor of many dishes. This time of year we have the wonderful Meyer lemon, which has a hint of orange flavor and is not as sour as a conventional lemon. Esin incorporates the Meyer lemon into her meringue tart with gingersnap crust.
CAFÉ ESIN’S GRILLED SALMON WITH WINTER CITRUS SALAD
BRINED PORK CHOPS WITH KUMQUAT-CHERRY CHUTNEY
ESIN’S LEMON MERINGUE TART WITH GINGERSNAP CRUST
2416 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Suite 140
San Ramon, California