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The Vineyard Kitchen: Menus Inspired by the Seasons

By Maria Helm Sinskey


Cantina: The Best of Casual Mexican Cooking

By Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken

Eight Things to Do With Blood Oranges

Blood oranges get the deep red color that gave them their name from a pigment called anthocyanin, which is common in other red plants but is rare in citrus fruits. There are three common types of blood orange: the Sanguinello, the Moro and the Tarocco.  The latter is the least red of the three, though there is considerable variation in the coloration of all three varieties, due to a variety of factors including heat and time of year. All tend to get redder as the season progresses. In the United States, the season lasts from January into May or June. As for taste, that, too, varies with the weather. They tend to get sweeter later in the season. Their main appeal is their striking color. They are at their peak for only a few months each spring. That's the time of year when I juice a bunch of them, boil it down to a thick syrup, freeze it in a jar and use a spoonful at a time over the course of the year in vinegar-and-oil salad dressings. Here are recipes for syrup and  seven other ways to use this distinctive fruit.

Blood Orange Syrup
Blood Orange Sherry Vinaigrette
Blood Orange, Avocado and Red Onion Salsa
Arugula Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Watercress Salad with Blood Oranges
Jicama and Blood Orange Salad
Baby Spinach with Blood Oranges, Belgian
    Endive, Gorgonzola and Toasted Walnuts

Candied Blood Orange Slices

Blood Orange Syrup

3 cups fresh blood orange juice
9 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons grated blood orange peel or regular orange peel

1. Stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until syrup is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.

2. Refrigerate until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated for use within a few days, or freeze.

Blood Orange Sherry Vinaigrette

2 small blood oranges
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Juice and strain the blood oranges. Measure 1/4 cup of juice.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the juice with the shallots and the sherry vinegar; season with salt and pepper to taste and let the mixture marinate for 10 minutes.

3. Whisk in the olive oil to taste. Add more olive oil if the vinaigrette is too acidic for your palette. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Source: The Vineyard Kitchen: Menus Inspired by the Seasons

Blood Orange, Avocado, And Red Onion Salsa

1 blood orange
1/2 cup 1/3-inch cubes avocado
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced red jalapeņo
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Using small sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from orange. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. 

2. Add avocado, onion, jalapeņo, and lime juice to oranges in bowl; stir gently to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt.

Arugula Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh porcini, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups arugula leaves, washed
1 cup red dandelion greens, washed
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 blood orange, segmented
Blood Orange Vinaigrette

1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add porcini, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, and saute until tender. Remove from heat.

2. Combine arugula, red dandelion greens, red onion, and orange segments in a bowl. Toss with vinaigrette to coat. Divide salad among 2 plates and top with porcini mixture. Serve immediately.


Watercress Salad with Blood Oranges

3 tablespoons blood orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
3 cups watercress, stemmed
3 blood oranges, segmented
2 tablespoons chopped garlic chives or regular chives

1. Using hand blender, blend first 5 ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Toss watercress with dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide watercress among 6 salad plates. Arrange blood orange segments on salad. Garnish with garlic chives and serve.


Jicama and Blood Orange Salad

1 jicama, about 3/4 pound
3 blood oranges
1 papaya or mango or 1/4 pineapple
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 dried habanero chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or ground to a powder, or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh mint, stemmed

1. Using a paring knife, peel the jicama, including the fibrous layer just beneath the skin. Thinly slice the flesh and then cut into thin strips 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Place in a large bowl.

2. Working with 1 orange at a time and using a sharp knife, cut a slice off the top and bottom of the oranges to reveal the fruit. Place each orange upright on a cutting board and cut away the peel and any white membrane. Then, holding the orange over the bowl with the jicama, cut along either side of each segment to free it, letting the segments and any juices fall into the bowl. If using a papaya, halve lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds and peel the halves. If using a mango, peel it and cut the flesh from the pit. If using pineapple, cut away the peel and the tough core area. Cut the papaya, mango or pineapple into 1/2-inch dice; you should have about 1 1/2 cups. Add to the bowl.

3. Add the onion, salt, habanero chili or cayenne pepper, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and mint to the bowl. Toss gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Source: Cantina: The Best of Casual Mexican Cooking

Baby Spinach with Blood Oranges, Belgian Endive, Gorgonzola and Toasted Walnuts

7 oz. baby spinach
2 heads Belgian endive
3-4 oranges (4 sliced, 2 juiced).
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese

1. Slice the endives length wise into quarters and the 4 oranges into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl and toss the endive with the spinach and dressing.

2. To make dressing, squeeze 2 oranges into a bowl and add sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil and taste to adjust seasoning.

3. Arrange the tossed baby spinach and endives in a small mound and place the sliced oranges (great served warm with the spinach) on each plate and top with small chunks of Gorgonzola. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and serve immediately.

Candied Blood Orange Slices

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 blood orange

1. Bring water and sugar to boil in a heavy large skillet, stirring until the sugar dissolves. 

2. Thinly slice blood orange (you can substitute a regular orange); add to skillet, arranging in a single layer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and barely simmer until the white pith of the orange becomes translucent, turning the slices occasionally, about 40 minutes. 

3. Allow the orange slices to cool in the syrup, turning occasionally. Arrange the slices atop the tart and drizzle with some of the syrup just before serving.

Copyright 2006 Seasonal Chef