Despite the gory name, blood oranges are one of the most flavorful and sought after members of the citrus clan. Tart, sweet and succulent, blood oranges deliver a rich orange flavor with hints of berry. Native to the Mediterranean but grown in the United States, blood oranges are treasured for their ruby-colored flesh. The unique color can range from dark pink to deep maroon or burgundy.
Blood oranges get their unique color from anthocyanins, the same heart-healthy pigments that color blueberries. Just one blood orange delivers more than a day’s supply of Vitamin C, which may boost immune function – something we all need during the winter months. Vitamin C is essential for healthy cells and healing and it can even help your body absorb more iron from the foods you eat. Blood oranges are also a good source of fiber which helps keep cholesterol levels in check among other things.
Enjoy blood oranges in the same way you would regular oranges. The rich color and flavor will add zest to your favorite recipes. Use the juice to flavor desserts or to create beverages, sauces and vinaigrettes. Or enjoy it simply as a snack or lunchbox addition.
Blood oranges are in season December to April. Though they’re not around long at my house, you can keep whole blood oranges refrigerated for up to two weeks or just a couple days on the counter.
Now…take a break from all of the soups, stews and chilis with this fresh winter salad featuring blood oranges.
It’s okay to stare. Blood oranges are beautiful inside and out.
Back in the day, having a salad always meant having those little crunchy, salty croutons. These days, I like to add crunch to salads with heart-healthy nuts. Hazelnuts and oranges make the perfect pair.
Spread the hazelnuts onto a KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick Half Sheet Pan in a single layer. Toast at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, until lightly colored but not burned. Set aside to cool.
While the hazelnuts are toasting, make the vinaigrette.
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in the blender cup. Using the KitchenAid® 2-Speed Hand Blender, blend ingredients until emulsified.
Cover and store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can enjoy the leftover vinaigrette over spinach or roasted root vegetables later in the week.
Toss the salad greens with 1/4 cup of the blood orange vinaigrette and top with the sliced blood oranges, beets, toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese. Enjoy your fresh winter salad!
Blood Orange, Beet & Hazelnut Winter Salad
Makes 2 servings
For the salad
5 ounces salad greens of choice (Ex. 1 bag mixed baby greens, spinach or kale)
1 blood orange, peeled and sliced
1 cup roasted or steamed beets, sliced
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 ounce goat cheese*
For the blood orange vinaigrette
1/2 teaspoon blood orange zest
1/2 cup blood orange juice (from about 2-3 blood oranges)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the hazelnuts onto a KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick Half Sheet Pan in a single layer. Toast for 10-15 minutes, until lightly colored. Allow to cool.
While the hazelnuts are toasting, add the vinaigrette ingredients to the blender cup. Using the KitchenAid® 2-Speed Hand Blender, blend ingredients until emulsified.
Toss the salad greens with a 1/4 cup of the blood orange vinaigrette and top with the sliced blood oranges, beets, hazelnuts and goat cheese. Plate and serve with additional vinaigrette as desired.
* For a vegan salad, omit the goat cheese.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*