In Season: Oranges

At times mistaken for summer fruit because of their bright color and refreshing zest, oranges are, in fact, ripe in the winter. They are often lauded for their high vitamin C content, which has been linked to combating the common cold, and can be squeezed for their juices or zested for a fine mist of their fragrant flesh. The juicy fruit beneath an orange’s peel is most traditionally eaten raw and by itself, but can be featured in both sweet and savory dishes alike. Their lovely citrus scent pairs pretty well with a Christmas tree too!

**All About Oranges**

When to Buy: Though oranges are available year-round, it is best to fill up on these bright citrus beauties now through April, when they will be their sweetest, juiciest selves. (Also try all orange’s cousins, from grapefruit to clementine to kumquat.)

What to Buy: Navel oranges are the most traditional kind, with their durable peel and thick segments. Clementines are one of the smallest varieties of oranges and usually do not contain any seeds. These little guys have thin peels that can be removed easily, so they make a go-to classroom snack. Judging from their outer flesh, blood oranges may seem ordinary, but slice into them to find crimson colored fruit that is bursting with flavor. It is best to stay away from any orange that is particularly soft or bruised and to opt for ones with the brightest peels.

Prep & Storages: Uncut oranges can remain in your refrigerator for up to one month but will usually only last 1-2 weeks if left in the open air. Stick whole cloves into your orange all the way around the sphere to create a Christmas masterpiece known as a pomander. The citrus-spice fragrance will waft through your dorm, and the cloves actually preserve the orange. It may seem weird, but you could give this as a gift to acquaintances–or to your favorite prof instead of an apple.

How to Cook: Peel-and-eat is the most classic approach to oranges, but gently simmering their tender segments with a bit of sugar can yield flavorful marmalades and decadent pie fillings.

Recipe box: Find our favorite orange recipes below.

Minted Fruit Salad
Put orange peels to work in this refreshingly light and colorful salad.

Orange Marmalade Muffins
It’s time to break out the juicer, because this recipe calls for 2/3 cup of orange juice and fresh is best.

Sunshine Citrus and Pomegranate Salad with Lime Syrup
Navel oranges pair perfectly with tangy grapefruit and crunchy pomegranate seeds.

Orange Olive Oil Pound Cake
The fruity notes of the olive oil complement the brightness of the orange zest in this sweet cake.

Patisserie Fruit Tart
Segmented navel oranges are nestled next to fresh berries on top of flaky pastry and a mascarpone cheese filling that is laced with orange zest.

Maria Russo is a Barnard College senior and enjoys a few juicy clementines with breakfast most winter mornings.

Originally posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

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