Friday, March 14, 2008

bloody curious

hmmmm. up until today, i have only tasted blood oranges in restaurants. if a restaurant doesn’t have a custardy creamy kind of dessert, then sometimes my eye wanders to what else the pastry chef has provided…and sometimes there will be a blood orange sorbet on the menu. other than that, i didn’t really give them a second thought.

yet, a while ago, i was introduced to RK, a warm vivacious friend of VF’s who appeared to be completely obsessed with them. RK declared that he spent an insane amount of money on buying freshly squeezed blood orange juice. i saw an inkling of this obsession first-hand when we were at a napa restaurant and he asked our kind waitress for a slice of blood orange for his glass of sparkling water. she came back with multiple slices and RK was very delighted. the delight was completely infectious.

when i came across them in a local market, i remembered RK and thought…”why not try them?” and thus my curiosity led me to buy a few.

it is difficult in a restaurant setting to see how beautiful blood oranges are. the range of colors on the skins only hint at the vermilion insides. i sliced into a couple of them and noticed that the insides also range in color…from brick red to of course…blood red.

in a homage to RK, i put a slice into a glass of sparkling water and found myself enchanted. i kept swirling the glass to watch the slice flow through the water.


then, i thought to myself “now what?”

after rooting around in my fridge, i saw that i had a peeled roasted beet (this winter, i find that i am roasting at least 1 beet a week to have in the fridge).

this inspired me to make a roasted beet salad with a spicy blood orange vinaigrette.


the blood orange vinaigrette included blood orange zest, blood orange juice, agave, a pinch of salt, extra virgin kalamata olive oil, and freshly ground cayenne.


it was a fantastic lunch course.


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