Back to the Kitchen: The Magic of the Local and Exotic Blood Orange

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From a culinary standpoint we know how lucky we are to live in Southern California! I love to eat and shop locally and seasonally.  On my last trip to the farmer’s market I was thrilled to find the vibrant blood orange! It has an extraordinary deep red color and the sweet, sweet flavor of an orange kissed by a raspberry. It makes a dramatic presentation and can be used in any recipe that calls for an orange. So, see where your imagination takes you with this local, yet exotic fruit.

Mahi Mahi with Blood Orange Salsa

4 blood oranges

2 avocados, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

1-inch ginger, minced

1 small jalapeno, minced

Juice of 2-3 limes (to coat)

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 6-ounce mahi-mahi fillets

Using small sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from orange. Working over small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments. Add avocado, onion, garlic, ginger,  jalapeno, and lime juice to oranges in bowl; stir gently to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt. Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add fish to skillet and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Place 1 fillet on each of two  plates. Spoon salsa on top of fish and serve.

Blood Barbecued Chicken

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp. butter

1/3-cup honey

3-tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian Chili garlic sauce (you can substitute Tabasco, to taste)

Juice of one lemon

Juice of 2 blood oranges

2 tablespoons Blood orange zest

1 1⁄2 tbsp. cornstarch

3 pounds boneless chicken breasts

3 pounds drumsticks

Olive oil for brushing

To make the sauce, in a small saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until tender. Add the honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, chili sauce and blood orange zest. Gradually blend the orange juice into the cornstarch; add to the onion mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly brush the chicken drumsticks with oil. Barbecue on a grill 6 inches above the glowing coals for 20 minutes. Turn and cook 20 minutes longer. Brush the chicken breasts with oil and add to the grill cooking 10 minutes on each side. Brush with sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken is tender, turning and brushing occasionally with sauce. Serves 6.

Skip Jennings’s Peace Kale Salad

1 cup Organic Kale (Fine Chopped)

1 cup Collard Greens (Fine Chopped)

½ Cup Napa Cabbage (Fine Chopped)

½ Cup Red Cabbage (Fine Chopped)

¼ Cup Red Onion, finely chopped

1 Cup Cooked Black eyed Peas, chilled

½ Cup Raw Almonds (Fine Chopped)

2 cups dried Cranberries (fresh when available

Toss together with Orange Vinaigrette

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

2 Large Blood Oranges (Seasonal any orange that is in season)-Juice and flesh

½ cup Olive Oil

½ cup Balsamic Vinegar

½ cup mint leaves, destemed

Mix in a blender

Pomegranate, Beets, Fennel and Blood Oranges

The joy of this salad is that beets are widely available pre cooked. The pomegranates seeds and vinegar are also now in most every market making this salad simple and elegant.

8 medium beets

6 tablespoons olive oil

1-teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4-cup water

Juice from 2 blood orange

4 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped

4 blood oranges, peeled, cut into1/4-inch-thick slices

1-cup pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place beets in roasting pan and toss with 3-tablespoon oil, 1-teaspoon salt, and 1/2-teaspoon pepper. Add 1/4-cup water. Cover pan with foil; roast beets until knife easily pierces center, about 50 minutes. Cool. Peel beets and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges.

Whisk orange juice, pomegranate vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl to blend. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Add beets, onion, fennel, orange slices, and pomegranate seeds to vinaigrette in bowl; toss. Season salad with salt and pepper. Servers 4-6.

Harmonious Lentil Salad

1 cup Lentils cooked and chilled

1 cup Brown Rice cooked

1 pint Golden Raspberries

2 Blood Oranges, peeled and roughly chopped

¼ cup Parsley

½ cup Green onions

Blood Orange Vinaigrette (see below)

In a large salad bowl toss together! Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Great with the lentil salad, but also awesome with a big salad of mixed greens and any vegetables that you have on hand!

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

¼ cup blood orange juice

Zest from one blood orange

2/3-cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together vigorously. Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 month.

Blood Orange Salsa with Homemade Tortilla Chips

A fiery winter salsa and the tortilla chips are easy and so much better than anything you have tasted. You can let the older kids loose on this project with close supervision.

For Salsa:

2 Blood oranges, peeled and diced

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

1 red onion, minced

1-teaspoon blood orange zest

1-teaspoon garlic, minced

1-inch ginger, minced

1⁄2 jalapeno, minced fine

1/4-teaspoon salt

1-tablespoon cilantro

In a bowl combine all ingredients except the cilantro and chill, covered, until ready to serve. Before serving toss in the cilantro.

For the chips:

12 count package of corn tortillas

Canola oil for frying

Kosher salt

Preheat oil in deep skillet. On a cutting board stack 4 tortillas and cut into 8 wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Add a handful of wedges to the hot oil. Separate any that stick together. Fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on a cookie sheet lined with a brown paper bag or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and continue with the remaining tortillas.

Blood Orange Pound Cake

1-cup butter

6 teaspoons blood orange zest

4 eggs

1-cup sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla

1/4-cup blood orange juice

1-teaspoon baking powder

1/4-teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with bakers joy. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, zest, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in blood orange juice and mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time then add vanilla. On low speed add flour baking powder and salt until just blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.

Blood Orange Cheesecake


1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup butter


1 pound cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup sour cream

zest and juice of one lemon

zest and juice of one blood orange (or regular orange)

5 large eggs, room temperature


1 1/2 cups sour cream

juice and zest of one blood orange

1/4 cup sugar

For the crust: melt butter and add to crumbs. Mix well and press into a ten-inch springform pan. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Cool.

Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add citrus zest and juice. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition, but not too vigorously. Pour over crumb crust and bake for about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring. Cool 15 minutes on the counter.

Meanwhile, prepare topping. Combine sour cream, citrus zest, citrus juice and sugar. Pour over slightly cooled cheesecake and let stand for half an hour at room temperature.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Jennifer

    I adore blood oranges! Thank you for this great column, Gwen!

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