To ensure I maximise their flavour pleasure during the limited winter citrus season, I basically eat blood oranges daily. On and with everything. Their tangy beauty embellishes every dish whether baked, roasted or simply peeled and consumed greedily with juice trickling down my chin.
I find that every winter season brings a new obsessional form of citrus consumption. Two years ago blood oranges featured in every baked good out of the kitchen. Last year they were the star of dressings, salads and sorbets. This year it’s the simple slice and roast technique delivering jewelled candy rounds to top every dish, three meals a day. These roasted circles of pure joy take less than 5 minutes to prepare, fifteen minutes to cook and will happily keep covered for upto 3 days, providing perfect pimp.
And don’t just limit yourself to blood oranges………try it with clementines, oranges and lemons. Think of them as this year’s zesty seasonal accessory.
While roasted blood oranges will undoubtedly dress up any side, grain dish or salad (and make a beautiful garnish if that’s your thing), I think they deserve to be in there with the main event.
Here are a few of my favourite suggestions for use to start you on your roasted citrus journey.
If you make them first thing in the morning (as you turn on the coffee machine), they will be ready at the same time as your porridge. I make my porridge with a pinch of cinnamon, half water, half almond milk and sprinkle on some roasted almonds, pecans or pistachios for crunch (pop them in the oven for 5 minutes while the blood orange slices roast). Then just quarter your glistening warm orange slices and sprinkle on top.
Fennel salad with rocket and either blood orange or red grapefruit segments might be my desert island salad. It makes the perfect side to just about anything. But this month has been particularly cold and salads for lunch are just not cutting it. I need warm and nourishing comfort. So I converted my favourite salad into an open faced sandwich.
I start with a good schmear labeneh on a generous piece of toast (goats cheese, whipped feta, burrata or plain cream cheese are also winners for the base). I add thinly sliced fennel, avocado, Lebanese cucumbers, rocket, of course some orange slices, a pinch of salt and Aleppo pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s a party in your mouth. And completely satisfying in every way.
Even the cold weather doesn’t keep me away from ice cream (it’s one of the main food groups isn’t it?). Roasted blood oranges make a simple scoop sparkle and are the perfect dessert hack for impromptu meals with friends.
Roasted Blood Oranges
- 1 medium sized organic blood orange (as I keep the skin on the oranges, try to use unwaxed organic ones when you can)
- 1 tsp runny honey (preferably orange blossom if you have any to hand)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
- 4 thyme sprigs (approx), divided
Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse one medium sized blood orange and dry.
Cut into approximately 8-12 thin slices (3-5mm thick, depending on the size of your orange and the sharpness of your knife). I cut the end pieces thicker with a little flesh on them so that I can squeeze their juice over the slices (also they are not the prettiest)
Lay the slices on baking sheet, removing any pips. Squeeze over any orange juice left in the end piecesand pour over any juice left on the cutting board over the orange slices on the tray. Waste nothing!
Drizzle the jewelled discs with olive oil and honey and sprinkle the thyme sprigs, salt and Aleppo pepper (if you are using).
Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are caramelised around the edges. Keep an eye on them during the last few minutes of cooking to make sure they don’t burn.
Enjoy the roasted blood orange ride…..its delicately delicious and satiates all the flavour whims. I want to hear all about your citrus adventures. Please do share yours xxx
Have you made this dish?
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