Hand drawn image of Blood orange

Blood orange

Citrus × sinensis

Just the thing to brighten up the darker months. The flavour is truly outstanding, but the season’s short.

Image of Blood orange being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

Blood oranges have thin skins, and ours are delivered ripe and ready to eat. Keep them in the fridge for freshness, and tuck in as soon as possible (just let them get to room temperature before eating, for the best flavour).

Prep & Cooking tips

You can peel them, obviously, or get fancy and segment the flesh for use in salads and desserts. Remove the top and bottom and cut away the rest of the skin with a sharp knife. Hold the skinned fruit in one hand and make a simple V-shaped cut on each side of the membrane to release each segment. Rotate and repeat. Squeeze and save the remaining juice.

If you feel the need to do anything more than scoff them in their virgin state, they are perfect if made into a dark sticky marmalade or a rich eggy curd. Thin rounds can be steeped in dark caramel and spooned over creamy dessert, or sugared and baked in a low oven to candy them for toppings and decoration. They’ll add both colour and sharpness to a salad, alongside beetroot and fennel in particular.

Easy ideas

Salads

Juicy, flecked, blood orange segments are ideal additions to a good salad. Think beetroot, ricotta and hazelnut, a classic fennel, olive and watercress, or smoked duck breast and bitter leaves. Any excess juice can be used to make the dressing; whisk 1 part juice with 3 parts oil, a dab of mustard and salt & pepper.

Sweet things

Consider making a few jars of dark crimson marmalade. You can mix it half/half with the traditional Seville oranges to retain some bitterness (their seasons mesh well). It also makes a handsome curd. Try making a simple dark caramel by heating sugar and a dash of water until amber in colour. Skin the oranges and slice into thin rounds before steeping in the cooled caramel overnight. Delicious with cream/custard based desserts.

A glass of...

Some sharp blood orange juice with a shot of bourbon and a shake of bitters? A flute of prosecco crowned with a magenta measure? A tall glass, freshly squeezed and laced with some complementary campari, ice, a slice and a sprig of mint? Why the devil not? Not on the sauce?... Lengthen some juice with a little sparking water and a snifter of orange blossom water instead.

Goes well with

Bitter leafs (Radicchio, dandelion, mustard leaf)
Spices (Cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, paprika & vanilla) Dairy (Butter, cream & yoghurt) Herbs (Parsley, mint, thyme & rosemary) Nuts (Hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachio & pine nuts) Drinks (Prosecco. brandy & gin)

Beetroots

Carrots

Broccoli & cauliflower

Kale, cabbage & red cabbage

Onions

Honey

Chocolate

Beef, pork, chicken & duck

Fish & seafood

Blood orange recipes

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