“This is the third day I have had this same salad” I thought to myself while I was segmenting blood oranges and slicing fennel. Then I looked over to my dining table and saw the four different bowls filled with citrus. Blood oranges, honeybells, tangelos, Valencias for juice in the morning, and a bag of Meyer lemons.
I smiled realizing that sight only happens for a few weeks every year. And how lucky we are to live here – in the land of citrus.
I am not sure if I shared this before, but Miren started school three days a week. It has been a relatively easy transition. She looks forward to the days where she gets to play with her friends and carry her owl lunch box into school, just like her older brother does.
“Purple orange!” she says as I am cutting slices of blood orange to put in her sack. Jon laughs. He finds her new vocabulary very amusing these days.
She is quite taken by the deep red tint, even purple as she described, of the oranges. She nibbles on some, then wipes her fingers on her shirt. Jon laughs again.
The days I am home alone I resort to my two favorite things to eat. Salad and risotto – both quick and filling.
And these days we have had lots of fennel and lots of blood oranges.
Aren’t they the perfect match anyway?
The risotto is simple and very fresh with thin slices of roasted fennel and blood oranges for a sweet and sour combination. I ate it for lunch alone. Then Jon and Miren enjoyed it in their school lunch the following day. Still good judging from the empty containers they brought home.
And the salad…
Cooked black rice tossed together with blood oranges, shaved fennel, radishes, blanched yellow beans, green onions, and watercress. Yogurt, olive oil, juice of the blood oranges, salt, and pepper. That’s it. No recipe. Simply tossed.
Well… what can I say. I ate it three days in a row.
Also, please remember that registration for our food styling and photography workshop in Dordogne, France opens this Thursday January 26th at 1pm EST (10am PST)!
Roasted Fennel and Blood Orange Risotto
serves 2 to 3
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
3 to 4 cups (750 ml to 1 liter) vegetable broth
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup (200 g) arborio rice
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
2 small blood oranges, segmented (reserve the juice of the remaining pulp after segmenting)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
Toss together the fennel, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt in a baking pan. Bake for 15 minute or until golden and tender. Reserve.
Heat the vegetable broth over medium high heat and keep it warm.
Heat a medium cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Add the remaining olive oil, shallots, garlic, and fennel seeds. Cook for two minutes.
Add the rice and stir until all kernels are coated with the oil. Add the dry white wine and stir until alcohol is evaporated. Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the vegetable broth and keep stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking the rice while stirring and adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time. Cook until the rice al dente. It will take about 20 minutes. Add the blood orange segments, the reserved juice, and roasted fennel. Cook for an additional minute.
Remove from heat and add the Parmesan. Stir and serve immediately.