Farm Foodie: A Bright Spot in Winter – Blood Oranges
This post is by our Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
You can’t help but love blood oranges, if only for their deep russet red hews and rich burgundy flesh. But with perfume like a strawberry, the tang of a raspberry and a flavor reminiscent of exotic, summery sangria, these oranges taste every bit as beautiful as they look. And right now is the time to enjoy them because their season is fleeting. You can extend it a bit by turning these ruby orbs into marmalade, sorbet or salad dressing, but ultimately this magnificent citrus defies eating outside its season.
Blood oranges are a sublime snacking fruit, but their tart, complex sweetness is also brilliant in everything from salad to dessert. The sweet berry flavors and tangy citrus make this a great orange for tossing with spinach or arugula. And any simple vinaigrette will do. However, you will be deliciously rewarded if you take a few extra minutes to make a simple blood orange vinaigrette.
My favorite is a combination of blood orange juice with sherry and balsamic vinegars. Use a little more juice to round out peppery arugula and a bit more vinegar to complement creamy baby spinach. Goat cheese, avocado slices or chopped pistachios are also great additions. And after all these salads, I won’t feel nearly so bad taking my next bag of blood oranges and heading straight to dessert. Now where did I see that blood orange tart with caramel sauce recipe?
- 2 Tbsp finely minced shallot
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Grated zest of one blood orange (avoid grating the bitter white pith)
- Juice of one blood orange
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the shallots with the vinegars and set aside to mellow for 20-30 minutes (this is the key to a good vinaigrette). Add blood orange zest and juice to the shallots. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking to mix well. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Vinaigrette is best used within the first few days, but it will last at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- In addition to salads, this is also delicious drizzled over roasted beets, grilled salmon or seared scallops. And as the season winds down it’s worth making an extra batch to have on hand for drizzling over the spring’s first tender asparagus.