Blood Orange Vinaigrette with Spicy Greens
There is nothing tastier to brighten up a meal in the dead of winter than a refreshing orange. Citrus is in abundance in supermarkets right now, but have you tried a blood orange? Grown since the 18th century in China and the Southern Mediterranean regions, blood oranges are now primarily grown in Italy, Texas and California.
Along with the usual citrus notes, a blood orange has an almost raspberry flavor though it is less acidic than most oranges. The anthocyanins – some of the strongest antioxidants available – give this fruit its crimson blood-colored flesh. Other than its antioxidant activity, anthocyanins have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, reduce the risk of cancer, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Like all citrus fruit, these oranges are a good source of Vitamin C. They are a valuable source of calcium, folate, and thiamine and also provide dietary fiber.
With it’s ruby red color, why not incorporate some blood oranges in your recipes for Valentine’s Day? Here’s a salad I’ll be making for my Sweetie. And since our winter has been so mild, I may even get to use some baby arugula from my own garden!
Recipe: Blood Orange Vinaigrette With Spicy Greens
Summary: If you can’t find blood oranges in your market, your favorite orange will work just as nicely.
- Juice of two blood oranges (yields at least 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Washed, dried and torn leaves of arugula, mustard greens, watercress or any other greens of your choice
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced into rounds and separated into rings (optional)
- Separated segments of one or two blood oranges
- Toasted slivered almonds or toasted walnuts
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Pour juice into a small mixing bowl (or in a blender/Vita-Mix).
- Add vinegar and mix with a whisk.
- Add salt, tasting along the way. Mixture should be somewhat salty.
- While whisking, gradually pour the olive oil into the juice-vinegar mixture. You’ll notice the mixture emulsifying, coming together.
- Taste it. Is there enough juice? Vinegar? Olive oil? Salt? Make adjustments before pouring over your greens and onion, then toss.
- Add orange segments and nuts. Crumble goat cheese over the top if using. Serve immediately.