The jewel in the crown of the garden and especially the fruit family may well be fresh citrus. The incredible global variety and usage is stunning; from sustenance to nutritive, pleasure to medicinal, aromatic to astringent, flavor to solvent.
The juice is light, tasty and refreshing. I use it in marinades, brines, dressings, beverages, cocktails, fruit and vegetable salads, poultry, meat & seafood dishes and much more. It is excellent for preserving color and freshness in fruits, vegetables, proteins and greens.
The zest, which is the colorful thin outer layer of the rind, has the oils and very essence of the fruit flavor. It is tangy and brightens any recipe including; stews, stir fries, roasts, bakes, braises, broils, ceviche, sauces, rubs, custards, desserts, baked goods ad infinitum. It is also great for making your own flavored salt, herb or spice condiments.
The pith, or white parts, contains an incredible amount and variety of major beneficial nutrients. It has much more vitamin C and fiber than the flesh or juice. Most citrus varieties contain immunity boosting flavonoids, naringenin and hesperidin as well as vitamins A, B6 and B5, calcium, riboflavin (B2), thiamin, niacin and folate.
When juicing, I like to get the most out of any citrus fruit. Choosing a ripe fruit makes for fuller, sweeter flavor and more juice. By first zesting the fruit, you not only save both the zest, pith and the fruit, it is easier to extract the juice and maximize the volume produced.