Weekly Harvest – Orange You Glad…

blood oranges

Jokester 1: Knock-knock

Jokester 2: Who’s there?

Jokester 1: Banana

Jokester 2: Banana who?

(repeat above 2-3 times)

Jokester 1: Knock-knock

Jokester 2: Who’s there?

Jokester 1: Orange

Jokester 2: Orange who?

Jokester 1: Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

This was my favorite joke when I was a kid. Yes, really. It explains a great deal why I now rely on sarcasm and self-deprecation for my humor, right? This pitiful refrain has been knocking (pun intended) around my head continuously this week as I stare down the piles of citrus that have taken up permanent residence on a considerable portion of my kitchen counter.

oranges!

(Only a small fraction – those to be used in the cake below)
 

To be clear, I am not complaining. I love oranges (navel or blood), mandarins and grapefruits dearly. They are great on-the-go snacks that have been smoothly integrated into my brown bag lunches. Plus, there are few sensory experiences as stimulating as that burst of fresh, clean, citrus scent that bowls me over every day at 4pm when I start peeling my daily snack. Yet, despite my best intentions and efforts, I have had a hard time keeping up with the piles we have been receiving continuously from our CSA share this winter. So, I am trying to think outside of the peel (I never claimed I was actually funny) for tasty, creative concoctions that will help me put my overflowing supply to best use.

salad

One of the easiest ways I’ve been mixing it up is by adding them to a variety of salads. Here, mandarin slices are combined with romaine lettuce and roasted beets from the CSA, topped with some garlicky feta, toasted almonds and tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. I made the first version of this salad to accompany last week’s quiche, and I have gladly returned to it several times already. The bright tang of the mandarin compliments the rich, earthy sweetness of the beets well, both of which are in great contrast to the salty feta and crunch of the roasted nuts.

mimosa

(Everything in my house is just a bit tilted…)

Juicing the oranges is always the most obvious path whenever I receive an overly generous number of them in my share, but this mimosa took freshly squeezed juice to the next level. I was thrilled to see the rosy blush on a few of the fruits we received last week and was rewarded with a stash of blood oranges. When combined with a splash (or more) from my favorite new bottle of bubbly, the result was a fresh, sweet fizzy cocktail that was the perfect companion on a lazy Sunday afternoon (and will be even better as it gets warmer).

cake and ice cream

This Flourless Orange and Ginger cake was, by far, the most creative use of the remaining orange stock, as well as one of the most unusual and tasty tea-time treats I have enjoyed in quite a while. The recipe, developed by Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini, actually has you boil 1.5 lbs of oranges before pureeing them in their entirety and adding them to a hefty scoop of sugar, several eggs, fresh and candied ginger and almond meal. Once baked and out of the oven, the cake is topped with a glaze of lemon juice, zest and turbinado sugar (at least, that is what I used, as I could not find chouquette sugar crystals at my local grocer). It has a very unique flavor profile – only slightly sweet, tart from the oranges and spicy from the occasional nub of ginger – and is far better consumed leisurely as a compliment to a morning cup of coffee or tea, than with ice cream after dinner as seen here. I have really been enjoying waking up to it for breakfast this week. I bake rarely, but when I do, I tend to gravitate towards these types of teacakes, rather than overly sweet party confections. I will definitely be adding this to the rotation.

grapefruit

Yet, no matter what creative uses for these fruits I find (or devise), it is hard to beat the perfection of a ruby red grapefruit, drizzled with honey and fresh from the CSA to start off my day. Overall, I am pretty confident that I’ll avoid the scurvy this year.

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14 responses to “Weekly Harvest – Orange You Glad…

  1. Your cake looks terrific. Orange and ginger – what a great combo!

  2. You inspired me! Just made the orange cake for the Superbowl party tonight. Am thinking of making it more desserty with a drizzle of chocolate. Oranges, ginger and chocolate like each other, right?

  3. You inspired me! Just made the orange cake for the Superbowl party tonight. Am thinking of making it more desserty with a drizzle of chocolate. Oranges, ginger and chocolate like each other, right?

    Umm, WordPress hates my phone. Sorry if this shows up twice.

  4. Thank you for sharing this awesome post!!! I love EVERY SINGLE IDEA 🙂 I have gotten tons and tons of citrus this winter and will definitely be putting these ideas to good use.

    Thanks for linking up 🙂

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  6. These look so good, I’ve bookmarked this for the next Band Fruit Fundraiser orange sale!

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