Some foods can surprise with their almost-mischievous personalities. Such is the case with blood oranges. Like a sly party-goer, the blood orange seems dressed for a masquerade ball. It is wrapped in a rather normal coat, but once stripped off, the passionate, sweet and juicy insides are…va-va-voom! Blood oranges have an interesting flavor, one that is simultaneously citrus-y and raspberry-like. Its name, of course, is derived from the blood-like color of the fruit, which truly does resemble blood. If this makes you or your guests uncomfortable, just call them “Sangria oranges” (Sangria means blood in Spanish) and everyone will be happy.
One of the lovely things about blood oranges is how versatile they can be: from cocktails, to salads, to soups, to main dishes and desserts, make them a part of your winter menus!
Blood Orange Mojito. Mojitos are the “hip” drink of 2010. Consisting of rum, mint or basil, and cane sugar, the addition of blood oranges to this combination makes the beverages’ red and green palette both a Christmas beauty and a delicious winter-time refreshment.
Blood Orange Champagne. Fizzy and sweet and meant as a treat, serve as a delicious accompaniment to a tasty brunch. Crème de Cassis, Brut Champagne, and blood oranges are all you need for this festive favorite.
Kale Salad with Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Salad. Almost too beautiful to eat, this salad will look lovely gracing your table. Kale is full of nutrients, but you’ll want to eat this salad for its zesty and refreshing flavors.
Blood Orange, Avocado, and Butter Bean Salad. Creamy and tangy, this Spanish-influenced dish includes blood oranges, avocadoes, butter beans, watercress, and spices, plus a sprig of mint for a refreshing taste that both embraces winter and promises spring.
Roasted Red Beet, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup with Orange Crème Fraîsche. When beets are roasted, their flavor mellows. Blended with the blood oranges and spices, and cooled with the crème, this is a delightful, rich, and delicious course to add to your menu.
Butternut Squash Soup with Blood Orange and Honey Glazed Water Chestnuts. Butternut squash is a flavorful winter warm-up. Rich in flavor and reminiscent of just-passed-autumn, this scrumptious soup pleases with its blend of the familiar and the slightly exotic.
Mahi-Mahi with Blood Orange, Avocado and Red Onion Salsa. A light, yet flavorful main course, not to mention low in calories and low in fat. You’ll feel less guilty about that extra cookie (or two) after dinner, too!
Blood Orange Pork Roast. This recipe is simple yet packed with flavor, so even if you are new to the culinary arts, your guests will never know. White wine and chicken broth combined with the zest of the blood oranges makes for a fragrant and mouth-watering main course.
Blood Orange Tart with Orange Carmel Sauce. Warm and wonderful and palatably divine, luxuriate with this amazing tart, a cappuccino, and friends while you reflect on the good things of the past and the promises of the coming year.
Blood Orange Layer Cake. All the bright colors of the season come together to celebrate in this beautiful layer cake. Freshly chopped mint is combined with chunks of blood oranges between the layers. The top is drizzled with blood orange juice, yogurt, more blood oranges, then finally, capped with mint. Happy Holidays!
PHOTO (cc): Flickr / aprillynn77