Clementine Recipes: Not Just for Snacking

Tasty Cold Soup Recipes That Will Change Your Soup Game


Clementines are the small citrus in boxes or mesh bags that appear in markets during the winter months. This year’s crop is tasty, juicy and plentiful (prices are low!).

They’re great for snacking, dessert or in fruit salads. Clementines also make a wonderful addition to almost any green salad, or in hearty salads with whole grains and beans. I’ve included five of Diana’s recipes below to get you started.

In Canada and perhaps elsewhere clementines may be called mandarins. Technically clementines are a cross between mandarins (Citrus reticulata) and Seville oranges (Citrus auratium). The recipes can be made with any of the tangerine-sized citrus or with oranges sections cut into bite-size pieces.

To prepare clementines for salads, just peel and section. If they are large or you want more flavor from the juice in your salad, cut the peeled fruit in half cross-wise before you separate the sections.

Look for boxes of small, firm fruit. I find that the smaller clementines often have the best flavor, although they may be more difficult to peel. If you get a box with poor flavor, look for another “brand” (from the box labels) and try again. They come from Spain, Morocco, South America and various other countries; I haven’t found any reliable way to tell which will taste best. If you can find the ones from California (usually labelled “California Cuties”, in mesh bags), they seem to be consistently good.

Orange or lemon peels can be grated (“zest”) for flavoring, but DO NOT try to use clementine peels this way — they are very bitter.

Editorial note: Just a few years ago no one had heard of clementines; now they’re everywhere and they sell like hotcakes. I hope that food marketers will take note that SHOPPERS WILL BUY healthful foods if they are tasty, attractively packaged and reasonably priced. Vote with your pocketbook; buy lots and enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Clementines

6 cups baby spinach leaves

12 clementines, sectioned

1/2 cup walnut or pecan pieces

1 bunch green onions, sliced crosswise (optional)

1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts (optional)

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of two limes or lemons (about 1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)

Place the salad ingredients in a bowl. Stir the dressing ingredients together and toss with the salad.

4-6 servings


Clementine-Wild Rice Salad

12 clementines, peeled and sectioned

1 6-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 bunches green onions, sliced thin

2 cups cooked wild rice, chilled

1 cup mint leaves (optional)

1 cup cilantro or Italian parsley leaves (optional)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise (optional)

3 cups shredded Chinese cabbage, chopped romaine lettuce or baby spinach leaves (or a combination)

Combine all ingredients except the greens and mix thoroughly. Toss with the greens and serve.

6-8 servings

Note: To make ahead, combine everything but the greens and chill. Toss in the greens at the last minute.


Clementine-Black Bean Salad

2 cups cooked barley or other whole grain of your choice, chilled

1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 green pepper, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

12 clementines, peeled and sectioned

1/4 cup honey-mustard salad dressing

Butterhead or other lettuce leaves (optional)

Combine all ingredients except the lettuce and chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves if desired.

4-6 servings


Fennel Salad with Clementines

1 large or 3 small fennel bulbs

10 clementines

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch cayenne, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the fennel bulbs, discarding the base and stems. Cut the bulb in quarters lengthwise and then slice crosswise into 1/4″slices.

Peel the clementines, cut them in half crosswise and separate them into sections. Mix all but 1/2 cup of the clementine sections with the fennel in a serving bowl.

Crush the remaining 1/2 cup of the clementine sections with the back of a spoon. Add the lemon juice and seasonings. Combine with the fennel and clementines and chill for at least 1 hour to blend the flavors.

4-6 servings


Clementine-Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

8 black olives, sliced

1 small red onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

12 clementines, sectioned

12 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

Fat-free honey dijon mustard dressing, to taste (optional)

Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to serve. If the salad seems too dry, moisten with a little white wine or Italian salad dressing.

6-8 servings


Source by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.