Saturday, March 27, 2010

Comparing Oranges to Oranges

I found a variety of oranges at my local Whole Foods this week.  Have you ever wondered what the side by side difference would be in the different varieties?  Let's investigate, shall we...
 L to R: Cara Cara, Blood Orange, Minneola

Let's peruse their innards...

The Cara Cara has fruit that has a light pink tinge to it.  It has bigger segments than the others or even a navel orange.  The taste leans towards grapefruit, it's not as sweet as the others.  It's a little past Cara Cara season which may have accounted for this one being tougher and less juicy than the other oranges.

Blood Oranges are distinctive by the blush of dark red on their skins.  The inside is a beautiful ruby red color.  I love blood oranges.  They are juicy and sweet but more tart than a navel orange.  They make a striking addition to desserts and salads.  Try making a blood orange mimosa or blood orange margarita!

The Minneolas are sold with the stem and leaves intact which makes them not only a great eating orange but a nice centerpiece too.  The fruit of the minneola was very juicy and sweeter than the other two varieties with a tangerine flavor.

You really can't go wrong with any of these.  Putting the oranges together gives you a nice range of color and flavors.  Cuz as my mama always said,
"When God gives you oranges, make ORANGESALADWITHPARMESANANDALMONDS." Or something like that.

Orange Salad with Parmesan and Almonds

3 oranges, any varieties
2 cups of arugula
1 ounce thinly shaved Parmesan
1 handful of smokehouse almonds
3t olive oil
Juice of the supremed oranges
Coarse Sea Salt & Pepper

1.  Supreme the oranges.  For a video demo of how to do that, click here.  Save the leftover orange carcasses and squeeze their juice into a bowl.
2. In separate bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil and a tablespoon of the reserved orange juice.
3. Put the dressed arugula on a platter.  Arrange the orange segments, Parmesan shavings and almonds over the arugula. Drizzle on a little extra orange juice if you like.
4. Sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt over the salad and a grind of fresh black pepper.

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