I've a mind to get all crafty and buy a yard of black felt. I'll use it to fashion majestic top hats for these sunny tangerines, because as soon as I heard they were called W. Murcotts, I pictured the guy on the Monopoly box, and he definitely rocks a tall, black hat.
But the formal W. Murcott name also conjures, for some reason, an image of Mr. Peanut, with his flirty grin and masculine monocle, so I'll toss in a skein of copper wire, too, to make some eyewear. After all, there's nothing a tangerine needs more than a top hat and a monocle.
W. Murcotts, which are mandarins, or tangerines, depending on your point of view, are awfully pretty, and super-simple to peel. They're less ubiquitous than clementines, and their bold, honeyed sweetness delivers more citrusy ka-pow! They're also quite juicy, which is excellent, so long as you've got access to a napkin, a paper towel, or a shammy. A sham-wow, in particular, would prove handy.
Apparently, and I just discovered this about 3-1/2 seconds ago, W. Murcotts were imported to California from Morocco in 1985, which kind of freaks me out, because I didn't know this before I paired them with chickpeas and couscous. Now if that doesn't make me a culinary soothsayer...
Don't have W. Murcotts? Perch your hand-crafted top hats and monocles on any tangerines you find. The only person who may judge you is Mr. W. Murcott himself, and the chances of him finding you, I'm guessing, are relatively slim, especially as he's probably busy eating peanuts and playing Monopoly.
Recipe for Tangerine Couscous with garbanzos and olives
Here's a really bright, fruity side dish that would nicely complement grilled chicken or lamb. Or you can eat like I did, with a toasted piece of old pita bread.
Makes 4-1/2 cups
5 tangerines (I used W. Murcotts)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup plain couscous
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/2 cup slivered, pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup dry-toasted pine nuts
Squeeze the juice from two of the tangerines into a glass measuring cup or small bowl. (You'll want about 1/3 cup juice.) Whisk in the olive oil, salt, and pepper and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Stream in the couscous, cover, and immediately remove from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff couscous with a fork, and scrape into a good-size serving bowl. While still warm, douse with the dressing and stir well.
Stir in the garbanzos, shallot, olives, and pine nuts. Peel the remaining tangerines and remove as much of the white pith as possible. Dice fruit, and add to the serving bowl. Correct seasonings, and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.