Blood oranges get a bad rap. The name is unappetizing at best, but they’re actually a delicious variety of orange marked by its telltale crimson flesh. The pulp is a deep, brilliant red that can resemble — you guessed it — blood. The dark color is caused by an extra pigment, anthocyanin, that regular oranges don’t have. Flavor wise, blood oranges are slightly sweeter than most oranges and if you’re lucky you’ll taste subtle undertones of raspberry or strawberry. They typically have fewer seeds than regular oranges and are higher in Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants – anthocyanin is an antioxidant known for fighting aging, cancer and diabetes.
Blood oranges are a winter/spring treat. They’re in season from December to April or May and their bright, reddish color is striking in salads, sauces and even cocktails. Refrigerate blood oranges to extend their shelf life. They’ll last only a few days at room temperature
This simple salad is a celebration of blood oranges, using the juice in the vinaigrette and tossing the segmented fruit in with the greens. It makes for a light, refreshing winter salad, perfect for a light lunch or as a side dish with dinner. You’ll get an extra dose of antioxidants from the almonds and vitamins A and K, and folic acid from the peppery arugula.
- ¼ cup blood orange juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 4 cups arugula, rised and patted dry
- 4 blood oranges, peeled and segmented
- ½ cup thinly-sliced red onions
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- Prepare vinaigrette:
- Whisk blood orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Gradually add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until vinaigrette comes together.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette, to taste, tossing until evenly coated and serve.
- Note: You’ll have a bit of vinaigrette leftover. Reserve it for other salads or as a marinade for fish.