Blood Oranges

December 15, 2010
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Whole and cut blood oranges

Winter is citrus season in the Valley and, although they are not overly common, you will find blood oranges at some farmers' markets. The darkest fruit will appear to have a port-wine-stained rind. Others will have a more typical orange color with the inside flesh streaked with red. Some of the blood oranges will be on the tart side, so taste before serving and add a little sugar or simple syrup if needed.

The intense red/pink color of blood orange juice makes it a perfect choice for a colorful mimosa or a blood orange spritzer (add sparkling water and a sprig of mint). Or peel the oranges and slice them horizontally (save the juices) and serve them:

1. Cut in half and wrapped with thinly sliced prosciutto as an appetizer
2. In a salad with fennel or arugula, the reserved juices, a very good olive oil and sea salt.
3. Arrayed on a platter and sprinkled with orange flower water and cinnamon or mint (or both) for dessert.

And while the blood oranges are usually best served raw, I do like to roast them with honey as a topping for vanilla ice cream or for a salad with goat cheese and chopped pistachios.

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