Holiday Flavors: Blood Orange

Ideas for bringing the colors and flavors of this special seasonal fruit to your Christmas or New Year’s table.

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

‘Tis the season for eggnog and Christmas cookies, and also for the much-loved blood orange. With the first specimens of the season arriving in markets in mid-December, the holidays wouldn’t be complete with something blood orange in your home.

Originally grown in Sicily and Spain, blood oranges are similar to the common orange, but with a vibrant-red flesh, and a much sweeter flavor. While they are more difficult to peel than the regular orange, blood oranges can be used in many of the same ways as the regular orange: Serve it sliced in a salad, or baked in a dessert. Children and adults will both love sipping blood orange-flavored sodas and cocktails. You can even decorate with them! Here are some of our ways to bring the color and flavor of blood oranges inside your home this holiday season.

 

Appetizers:

Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Mint

From The Daily Meal

A healthy salad with a balance of sweet, creamy, and sour flavors.

 

Main Dishes:

Roasted Sea Bass

Bright Italian-inspired flavors are wonderful complements to moist-tender roast sea bass.

 

Lamb Shanks

A refreshing and slightly acidic blood orange relish helps to moderate the rich and tender lamb shanks.

 

 

Dessert:

Panna Cotta

A light and healthy dessert alternative that you can make in advance.

 

Gingerbread Pain Perdu

From The Daily Meal

French toast isn't just for breakfast. Dress it up, serving it with sliced blood oranges in their juice and a dollop of softly whipped cream.

 

 

Cocktails:

Christmas Citrus Soda

From The Daily Meal

A family-friendly cocktail or mocktail, full of holiday flavor.

 

Blood Orange, Ginger Beer and Tequila Cocktail

From The Daily Meal

A unique combination of flavors that will surprise you. Substitute ginger ale for ginger beer, if you can not find it, and leave out the tequila for a family-friendly version.

 

Décor:

Bowl of Oranges

Tower blood oranges in a beautiful clear glass pedestal bowl, lined with magnolia leaves, for an 'edible' arrangement that can be placed on an entry or coffee table.

 

Blood Orange Garland

Strung together, thinly-sliced and dried blood oranges make a perfect garland for hanging in front of a fireplace. You can also tie string to individual orange slices to create ornaments to hang on your tree.

Garland How-To:

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees, or to the lowest setting it can go. Prepare a baking sheet with a wire rack.

2. Thinly slice six blood oranges and spread slices out on rack. Place in oven and bake until the slices are dried, about an hour or two, depending on your oven.

3. Punch a hole where the flesh and pith meet on each slice (this will be the point from which each slice will hang).

4. Begin stringing the orange slices onto a 1/8-inch thick ribbon (how long you want the ribbon depends on how wide the span is of the space you will be hanging it from; we suggest cutting the ribbon 1½ times the width of the span). Knot each slice in place at 8-inch intervals with a half knot as you thread them on.

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