A Gem of an Orange: Blood Orange Vinaigrette Recipe
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 gems 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 and their tart, complex sweetness is also brilliant in everything from salad to dessert to cocktails. I love them in a salad with sweet dates and nutty Parmigiano or simply tossed with fresh greens, a little avocado or goat cheese and whatever dressing I have on hand. Although, you can be sure to be richly rewarded by taking a few extra minutes to make a blood orange vinaigrette for that salad. This is a dazzling dressing that is also fantastic drizzled over fresh steamed veggies—especially asparagus spears.
Not only are blood oranges delicious, but they are also a visual treat that make an exceptional beverage. Simply give them a good squeeze, poor their juice into your sexiest glass and top with sparkling water, champagne or something stronger, if you’re so inclined—and toast this shining star of the citrus season.
- 2 Tbsps shallots, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- Grated zest of 1 blood orange (avoid grating the bitter white pith)
- Juice of 1 blood orange
- 2 to 3 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 ½ lbs asparagus, trimmed
- 3 Tbsps Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded or shaved
- In a small bowl, combine the shallots with the vinegars and let the shallots macerate, about 30 minutes.
- Add blood orange zest and juice to the shallots.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking to mix well.
- Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. (Vinaigrette can be made up to 24 hours in advance)
- Roast, steam or grill asparagus until just tender.
- Toss asparagus with vinaigrette, arrange on serving platter and top with Parmigiano.