Blood oranges are in season from December to May and if you haven’t tried these succulent Sicilian favorites, you’re missing out! Although they’ve been an Italian staple for centuries, blood oranges have only recently gained popularity in the U.S. Because of its unique flavor and colorful flesh which can range from pinkish to a deep, intense blood red. Bon Appetit says: “The juice is a striking reddish-pink, and the oranges have very few seeds, if any. Blood oranges have a floral fragrance and a berry-like sweetness with an acidic edge.”
It is believed that the color is due to the temperature while the fruit is growing. Italy’s climate, with cold nights and warm days, is ideal. There are three types of blood oranges: Tarocco (which are sweeter, but a bit less colorful), Moro (tart but vibrant) and Sanguinelli (which are smaller and less common in the U.S.). And blood oranges aren’t all about looks, their deep color is caused by anthocyanin which is the same compound that gives most red fruits and vegetables—red cabbage, blueberries, cherries, etc. Studies have found that this powerful antioxidant may help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. So take advantage of the season and try a blood orange recipe a day, starting with these!
1. Blood Orange, Beet & Fennel Salad Brighten up a cold winter day with this colorful, crisp and healthy salad. You can reap the benefits of the anthocyanin in the oranges and the beets.
2. Blood Orangecello This gorgeous twist on limoncello makes a festive cocktail, perfect for getting in the mood for spring. This recipe only requires soaking the rinds for 48 hours, so start planning your next dinner party now!
3. Blood Orange & Clementine Galette This blood orange recipe is a show-stopping dessert that makes the most of their fabulous color. This dessert is deceptively simple and the Cardamom Crème Anglais is divine.
4. Blood Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts These scrumptious Brussels sprouts may even tempt the kids! The light citrusy flavor of the oranges beautifully enhances the subtle flavor of the sprouts.
5. Agave-Crusted Salmon with Blood Orange Salsa Verde Get your omega-3s along with your antioxidants and enjoy every minute of it. The Blood Orange Salsa Verde may just become your favorite winter topping.
6. Blood Orange Duck You may want to save this recipe for next Christmas, of course you’ve got to test it first. This Blood Orange Duck has a tangy, Asian flair.
7. Blood Orange Marmalade Preserve your blood oranges to enjoy all year round. Blood Orange Marmalade brightens up toast or bagels and it breathes new life into your average PB&J.
8. Miso Blood Orange Scallops Miso Blood Orange Scallops are an quick, easy and affordable choice for a light dinner. Salty miso combines beautifully with the tart blood orange juice.
9. Blood Orange Trifles Blood Orange Trifles are a decadent dessert that’s almost too pretty to eat. The fresh berry flavor of the oranges offsets the super sweet custard. You definitely need to serve these at your next party.
10. Blood Orange-Mezcal Margarita Speaking of parties…. Blood orange juice is ideal for a variety of cocktails, but it’s absolutely perfect for margaritas. You’ll look like a master mixologist if you whip a batch of these Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas.
Photo 9 courtesy of Food Network.com