Days of Blood Oranges and Fennel

“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.

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70 Responses to “Days of Blood Oranges and Fennel”

  1. This really does look fantastic and flavours I wouldn’t think to match. I must try this one. Photos, as always are truly beautiful.


  2. Oh yum! This sounds like such a yummy lunch. Pretty too :)

  3. MikeVFMK says:

    Absolutely love the flavours! That radish and blood orange salad looks so good, Aran. Quite brilliant.

  4. Giulia says:

    Lovely. I love risoto, never thought of adding oranges.

  5. Natalie says:

    i am obsessed with blood oranges this time of year! beautiful photos!

  6. Deanna says:

    Sounds amazing and the photos are incredibly beautiful! I love fennel, so can’t wait to to try the salad.

  7. looks and sounds divine. also just read your trip to Uncle Matt’s post. how wonderful to have local citrus. not something we get in the northeast. enjoy.

  8. Deanna says:

    Where did you find the amazing red and white floral bowl???

  9. Betsy says:

    yum. I love those purple oranges! ha.

  10. Miss B. says:

    Always a delight to visit your blog, you had me at blood oranges:)

  11. Maureen says:

    I love blood oranges and risotto is my go-to dish when I’m alone. I can stuff myself with it and nobody knows the glutton I can be around risotto.

  12. Valentina says:

    о) как мило ! веточки укропа, редис на столе все это выглядит оч. аппетитно, по-летнему …
    спасибо. V.

  13. Too pretty to eat. Almost! You always come up with unusual flavor combos I would never think of pairing together.

  14. tinajo says:

    Gorgeous images – and now I´m hungry..! :-)

  15. A perfect combination! Those flavors are just delightful. Your risotto is awesome.



  16. Irene b says:

    totally in love with your style. Thank you so much for sharing…My dream is your workshop in france!

  17. These are perfect match. I can’t wait to try it myself. I love healthy foods and this is a valuable addition. Thanks!

  18. What lovely fresh colours and flavours, perfect for lifting the January blues.

  19. Aurelie says:

    Hi Aran, It’s always a pleasure to come here and find new post. I really hope to enter in your workshop, if not are you going to organize an other workshop next spring? I’m in love with the floreal blue towel, is it Anthropologie or an other brand? Thank you

  20. SreeBindu says:

    we don’t find blood oranges in my city, but looks colour full and yumm..


  21. pigeon pie says:

    Wow, this looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make it.

  22. Liz says:

    What a wonderful idea, and while it occurred to you immediately to pair those two key ingredients, I have to say it wouldn’t have to me! In the Mediterranean, outside my door, I’ve both in abundance right now. I just need to have a truly fine day to go for a cycle and pick some wayside fennel! Oranges, blood too, are always gifted me. Thanks for a refreshing new year’s light lunch idea while my son is at school.

  23. Deanna- the bowl is from ceramist Samantha Robinson.

    Aurelie- Not sure if I will do a workshop next spring. We shall see. In any case, I will post any updates on my blog so stay tuned! And the fabric is by Liberty of London.

    Liz- that is wonderful. I hope you know how lucky you are :)

    Thanks everyone! Isn’t citrus season so wonderful in the middle of winter?

  24. Fabulous photography. Idllyic food images and very very readabl content. Thank you for upkeeping such an inspiring blog.

  25. Carmen says:

    No me canso de decirte como me gusta tu estilo!bss

  26. Yum! I would definitely eat that every day! Looks beautiful!

  27. Yum – this looks delicious. Perfect for a light lunch while home alone.

  28. Two of my favorite things, beautiful post!

  29. jacqui says:

    I’m just imagining how good this must all taste! Perfect winter lunch!

  30. WOW, these photos and the styling = INCREDIBLE. I need to go back and digest them a bit more :)

  31. So gorgeous for me to see this right now in January when the weather is cold and grim.
    Thank you for sharing. This is truly lovely.

  32. I have felt the same way about a ruby grapefruit and spinach salad lately! It’s just fresh & different! Will be sure to try this one now too! As always, your photos inspire!

  33. Such gorgeous photos! One could almost forget it’s winter :-)

  34. Maja says:

    I love, love, love your photos Aran!

  35. GG says:

    What an original dish, and very beautiful pictures. GG

  36. Utterly beautiful photos! This look fabulous x

  37. Sally says:

    I can’t get enough of the fennel-orange combination. Maybe because I’m longing for SOMEthing to be in season in New England, but at least we can find citrus and fennel in the market. Radishes, too. So pretty and crunchy. A great antidote to all the soup we northerners consume this time of year–crunch and color are on the menu. Such inspiring photos!

  38. kriken says:

    i always love your photos~ and i’ve been trying to google the polka dot spoons you have with no luck. Do you know where I can find some? Thank you!

  39. Ilke says:

    What a flavor pack. I dont think I have seen the blood oranges here in SC. Will keep an eye on it!

  40. Wow, your photos are spectacular. Very special. I love your inspired, original flavor combination in your risotto. Thank you for sharing.

  41. Kim Bee says:

    This is stunning. The food is beautiful and the photos are breathtaking. I love coming here and just staring.

  42. Ann says:

    I was lucky enough to live in Sicily for three years and your salad reminds me of that. Your photos are stunning and it was a lovely read…thank you!

  43. Karen says:

    I think your photo’s are awesome. They bring a bit of summer in a grey wintery life in the Netherlands.

  44. Pia says:

    Aran, I really love your website, so inspirational. Tech question, which software do you use to piece together several photos into one jpg? I love the contrast it makes and want to play with the idea myself. Thanks

  45. When I’m in Italy I eat nothing but fennel and orange as well in this period. Now in the UK I can’t find very good specimen – especially fennel – but I might give the risotto a try, to see if it makes up for the mediocre ingredients… Thank you for the inspiration.

  46. ileana says:

    Those blood oranges look beautiful!

  47. Sally- your winter is our summer. nothing grows here in the summer :)

    Kriken- not sure where you can get them in the US. They are French from a brand called Sabre.

    Pia- those collages are done through Photoshop and I’m sure other photo editing apps.

    Thank you everyone. Can you believe I made a slightly different version of the salad once again yesterday? Can’t get enough of citrus and fennel.


  48. Magdalena Garbarini says:

    Can you believe I have never tried fennel yet? It is something I should do during this new year. The post is lovely, as usual!
    Cheers from Argentina!

  49. macus! says:

    Totally yummy!!! and beautiful beautiful photos…

  50. Inés says:

    Blood oranges!!!! hau izen ederra….gaur bi kilo erosi ditut zukua egiteko. Laranaj ahauek jaten ditudanean nire amamaz gogoratzen dut: asko gustatzen zitzaizkion eta niri ere. Ederra beti bezala Aran!
    (Bihar apuntatu behar da Frantziara ezta?)

  51. Oh, the land of citrus! I can’t even imagine!

  52. Ines- bai. biher apunteu behar da. Horko arrastiko 7etan ipiniko dot blogean. bazatoz ala?

  53. Sini says:

    The land of citrus… I feel like I’m living in the land of snow and cold right now :D I have to admit: I’m a bit jealous.

    That risotto of yours look so tempting. Can’t wait to try it out!

  54. very nice blog:) to follow thıs blog.


  55. Those oranges are glowing with their health effects :-D Beautiful pictures as always, thank You!

  56. a. maren says:

    grrrowl. you are SO lucky to live in the land of citrus. and i am lucky too because i can look at your pictures of it!

  57. What wonderful favours. Fennel with citrus and black rice. Absolute heaven. I wish that I lived in the land of citrus too.

  58. All your posts are so beautiful and dreamy ! My daughter asked me what blood oranges taste like.I told her they have a hint of cherry flavor.She went crazy after she tried a slice ! It’s fun to have the licorice flavor of fennel in a salad too ! What kind of camera do you use for your gorgeous photographs ?

  59. Mike says:

    aaahh! love your photography, the food is so beautiful it is inspirational! Will try the fennel salad later this week, Thanks!

  60. Fennel and citrus is a divine combination. These salads look so fresh and lively! Beautiful.

  61. I can see why you ate this salad 3 days in a row. Pure and fresh tastes and your photography is just stunning. BAM

  62. A healthy recipe to start the day. Love your photo. It’s absolutely stunning! Looking forward to try them.

  63. pigeon pie says:

    Wow, I just made this and was a bit hesitant about what it would taste like but it was incredible! I can’t wait to make it again and I only ate it about half an hour ago!

  64. Pigeon pie- I know combination sounds odd but it’s so greT you tried it and loved it. Makes my day!

    Thanks for sharing!

  65. Christelle says:

    I would never have thought that fruits and vegetables can be so beautiful!

  66. Marita says:

    These images are so beautiful. So vibrant and crisp. I need to try this recipe.

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