Blood oranges are believed to be the happy accident of a Sicilian variety that mutated, probably during the 17th century. The first time I came across them was when I was living in Rome and was served a plate of slices with balsamic vinegar and black pepper as a palate cleanser before dinner. Amazing – not just the taste but the beautiful colours ranging from bright red to speckled orange and red.
As a bonus, One blood orange has 130 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C, as well as potassium and dietary fiber. It also contains the same good-for-you antioxidant that’s in red wine (not that Im suggesting giving up your red wine for orange juice, just saying!).
Its just a pity that the season is so short for them, (or that I don’t live in Italy).
Roasted Salmon with Blood Orange and Herb Butter
2 Blood Oranges
3 Salmon Darnes
2 oz butter
1 tbsp each of minced ginger, garlie and orange zest
2 tbsp chopped mixed flat leaf parsley
Slice the unpeeled blood oranges into thin rounds and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Combine the softened butter with the minced fresh ginger, grated blood orange peel, garlic, and 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley.
Place the 3 salmon darns on the bed of orange slices, season, and pat on a generous serving of the herb butter. Roast at 180 C until the fish is just opaque in the center.
Serve the fish with any pan juices and a simple mixed leaf salad with blood orange segments, pistachios and a dressing of juice and olive oil. I added a side of potato gratin as it was so cold – leave out for a delicious spring lunch!