Ingredient of the week: blood orange

Smaller than your usual orange, the blood orange does not lack in taste what it lacks in size.

Its deep crimson, almost sanguine colour is caused by the presence of anthocyanins – pigments frequently found in plants and flowers but rarely in citrus fruits. In some cases the skin colours along with the inside flesh, almost like a blushing orange.

Their fresh flavour lends themselves to all manner of dishes – but they must be the hero. Simplicity is key here; perhaps a blood orange salad with soft, crumbled goat’s cheese, walnuts and fennel; or used in puddings – served alongside a milky white panna cotta or perhaps turned into a silky, luxurious sorbet. Create a luxurious summer treat by dropping a ball of this into a glass of cava if you’ve got the time – or make a blood bucks fizz using blood orange juice in place of her blander looking cousin.

Last but definitely not least is blood orange marmalade – a just-ruby coloured bitter marmalade perfect for slathering on toast on a cold winter’s morning, or after a long, windy, wintry walk in the park.

Snap them up now while they’re in the shops – their season is short.
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