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Pesto With a Citrusy Twist

A zesty Sicilian take on the favorite, from Ali Slagle, is a perfect accompaniment to fish or pasta.

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By Emily Weinstein

Citrus season has now arrived, a jewel-toned gift to those of us who live somewhere that’s currently gray. Like many people, I gravitate toward stews and braises this time of year, the genre of home cooking that can best be described as “something in warm sauce.”

But I love to cut through that richness with the magnificent citrus you can find right now: lemons, limes, grapefruit, mandarins, tangerines, blood oranges and so on. The list is long, and the flavors are bracing.

While some dishes showcase peak-season fruit — I’m thinking of citrus salad — most can be made with any fruit you find at the store. The weeknight recipes below will certainly work well. If you, like me, have a taste for citrus desserts, I recommend this orange marmalade cake, these lemon bars and the divine entity that is Key lime pie.

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1. Pan-Seared Fish With Citrus Pesto

I love Sicilian food, like the pesto in this recipe from Ali Slagle, a light, punchy cover of a song you thought you knew. It’s made without cheese, which also means it’s vegan, and you could pair it with pasta, rather than fish, if you prefer.

View this recipe.

2. Citrus Skillet Shrimp With Shallots and Jalapeños

Look at that orange glow. In this smart new recipe, Yasmin Fahr applies the flavors and feel of ceviche to quickly seared shrimp. Fish or scallops can swap in for the shrimp, and you could reduce or omit the jalapeño to suit your needs.

View this recipe.

3. Buttery Lemon Pasta With Almonds and Arugula

This is an easy weeknight pasta dish, made electric with a large dose of lemon juice. Melissa Clark adds arugula for a fresh, one-pot meal, and you can add even more if you’d prefer.

View this recipe.

4. Spicy Citrus Skirt Steak

Maybe you grill outdoors year-round. Maybe, because of weather or other factors, you don’t. It doesn’t matter, because you have a grill in your oven — the broiler! Use it to make this supremely simple and enticing recipe from Ali Slagle. (Set the oven rack close to the broiler, and cook the steak directly on the sheet pan, using the same timing to start.) The steak bathes in that tangerine sauce, which would taste good on chicken, too.

View this recipe.

5. Sheet-Pan Lemony Chicken With Brussels Sprouts

Here’s another recipe from Yasmin Fahr: a lemon-strewn crowd-pleaser — if your crowd likes brussels sprouts. Mine does not. More for me. (Broccoli would work as a substitution; add it to the pan later in the process, as it needs less time in the oven.)

View this recipe.

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