I know I do a lot of whinging about Winter, but I guess there are a few benefits after all....
I can stay in my fluffy slippers and PJ's all weekend because they're the warmest things I own; rich, thick soups are on the menu regularly; mulled wine is a great alternative to tea or coffee; and citrus are certainly at their best- especially the gorgeous globes of goodness that are Blood Oranges!
The very lovely people at Redbelly Citrus kindly sent me a box of their new season Blood Oranges to play with and I while I always knew how good oranges were for me, I was very interested to find out the extra benefits they provide.
The Redbelly website states that "Blood Oranges produce Anthocyanins which is extremely rare for Citrus fruits. Anthocyanin, most commonly found in berries such as the blueberry, flowering plants and red wine (derived from red grapes) is one of the most powerful phyto-chemicals known in the plant kingdom. This group phyto-chemical’s are known for their potent antioxidant capability, being some 150 times more powerful than Vitamin C alone and along with their ability to be beneficial in so many parts of health we have decided to call this specialty VitaminRED."
With such great taste as well as being extra good for me, how could I resist? Find out more of the amazing health benefits of VitaminRed HERE and tell me you're not as impressed as I am!
A Navel Orange in back and a Redbelly Blood Orange in the front
Just look at the colour contrast!
How do I explain the difference in flavour? It's subtle, maybe a bit of raspberry in there, definitely more mellow than the Navel Orange though. You know how Granny Smiths and Pink Ladys are both types of apple- same same but different- just like that! Got it? I will tell you this- I would pick the Blood Orange every time over any other variety, that's for sure, it's definitely my new favourite citrus!
Now as Redbelly Blood Oranges are such seasonal items, I wanted to pair them with some other lovely fresh produce coming into season now too. Tiny truss Tomatoes are just coming in from Queensland, radishes are nice and add a bit of zing, and wild rocket greens bring a bitter edge to the mix as well
Sardines are another great Winter winner, and I thought that the sweet blood orange combined with garlic and fresh bay would really be a great match with the slightly strong, oily fish
Sardines with Blood Orange and Bay Leaves
To serve Two
about 4 Sardines per person
3 Blood Oranges- 1 for slicing, 1 for zesting and juicing, and 1 for segmenting
1 bunch fresh Bay Leaves
4 cloves Garlic thinly sliced
half bunch fresh Parsley
1/3 cup Olive Oil
baby Truss Tomatoes
Blood Orange Juice
Red Wine Vinegar
Slice one of the oranges into fairly thin half circles
Segment the other orange by peeling it, then cutting between membrane that separates each little piece from its neighbour
Nice and tidy now
Make the marinade by placing the oil, garlic, zest,crumpled bay leaves, juice and parsley in a dish. Squeeze in the juice from the orange bits left from segmenting as well- waste not, want not :)
Place 2 orange slices and two bay leaves as well as a couple of the garlic slivers into each sardine cavity
Place them all in the marinade and spoon some over as well. Pop this into the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavours develop
Grill the sardines with their stuffing in a hot pan for a few minutes each side, until they're just cooked through the middle and there's a nice bit of charring on the skin for extra flavour
Thinly slice the radishes and combine with the rocket and orange slices. Because it was a pretty cold day still, I decided to blister my tomatoes on the grill pan for a few minutes just to warm them through. Just because they were so pretty I kept them attached to the stem as well, but if it's nice and warm in your neck of the woods feel free to keep the tomatoes au naturel
Mix the dressing, adjusting the flavours to taste- I like a nice acidity from the vinegar. I was so lucky to have some local Homeleigh Grove Blood Orange olive oil on hand to make my dressing extra special and yummy!
Plate up your yummies, then drizzle all with the sweet, salty, acidic dressing to tie all the flavours in together
A perfect Winter Weekend Lunch- and extra good for you as well!
So Dear Readers, have you tried yummy Blood Oranges yet, and what's your favourite thing about Winter?
Many thanks go to Redbelly Citrus for providing me with the delicious Blood Oranges. To find the closest stockist of yummy Redbelly Citrus check out the map Here and stock up while they're in season- enjoy!