Next time you’re making a salad or dessert with oranges, reach for blood oranges instead. These juicy fruits have a ruby red flesh and a sweet flavor reminiscent of fresh summer berries, and they add a special, beautiful touch to any dish. The season for blood oranges is short, from winter through mid-spring, so enjoy them while you can — here are some of our top tips and favorite uses.
Look for: Like navel and Valencia oranges, blood oranges should be heavy for their size with firm, smooth skins free of bruising or soft spots. They tend to be a bit smaller than other oranges. The skin of blood oranges may have a slight dark reddish hue. Store them at room temperature for several days or refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 3 weeks.
Prep tips: Before peeling a blood orange, squeeze it between your palms or roll it on a countertop, pressing down firmly. This will make the orange a little juicier and easier to peel. To juice it, cut the orange in half and use a juicer or reamer to extract the liquid. You may also remove the zest from an orange or segment it before using in a recipe.
Uses: Savor the unique flavor of blood oranges by eating them fresh, either segmented or sliced in salads and salad dressings or as a topping for a dessert. They are also delicious in preserves, such as a compote or marmalade (see a recipe below).
|Blood Orange Mojito
In this twist on the original Cuban cocktail, lime and mint are accentuated with blood oranges for a colorful sweet-tart drink.
|Fennel Salad with Blood Oranges & Arugula
This bright, beautiful salad showcases juicy blood oranges, refreshing fennel and peppery arugula in a mild vinaigrette. It’s a gorgeous starter for a special occasion, or you can pair it with soup or crusty bread to enjoy as a light dinner.
|Pan-Seared Scallops with Sautéed Oranges
This colorful winter dish showcases two types of oranges: the standard navel orange and the crimson blood orange, which make a refreshing counterpoint to seared sea scallops.
|Ricotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and Honey
This easy-to-prepare dessert showcases creamy ricotta cheese with a sweet, fruity, crunchy seasonal topping. It’s the perfect no-bake finale for a dinner party.
|Crème Brûlée with Caramelized Blood Oranges
If you want a truly magnificent dessert, sure to impress anyone, make this recipe. A thick layer of melt-in-your-mouth vanilla custard is topped with a crackling burnt sugar crust and slices of tart, caramel-coated blood oranges.
|Blood Orange Marmalade
The sweet-tart juice and slightly bitter peel of blood oranges are ideal for marmalade. Use a mandoline, if possible, to slice them thinly for this recipe.