Biting into a burst of sunshine! That’s how I describe that juicy first bite of a sweet, aromatic orange. The same can be said for tangerines, Mandarin oranges and all of their many varieties. It’s easy to grab an orange, peel and munch on the spot!
Did you know that in China, vibrant orange-gold oranges and tangerines are symbols of good fortune and wealth? February 10th is the start of the two-week Chinese New Year. It’s customary to give oranges as gifts and they are displayed on altars and used for decoration.
I thought I’d share some ideas for ways to sparkle up a dish or a menu by adding oranges or tangerines. You never know…someone might gift you a lot of oranges!
- Slice or chop and add to fruit salads, vegetable salads, grain salads and protein salads such as tuna or shrimp. As an alternative, slice oranges or tangerines and serve as a bed for these wonderful salads. (Mandarin oranges are superb in tuna salad).
- Slice or chop and add to pilafs and cooked grain dishes.
- Slice and layer over fish. Bake and enjoy.
- Use the juice in place of lemon or lime juice in a recipe such as salsa or salad dressing.
- Add to smoothies and fresh juice blends.
- Serve as a side dish to grilled pork chops, salmon, fresh tuna, marinated tofu or tempeh.
- Stir into yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream or non-dairy alternative.
- Add to Greek yogurt or cream cheese along with honey and cinnamon for a delicious spread.
- Serve with creamy cheese like Brie.
- Make an orange and fennel salad, an orange and spinach salad or an orange, beet and fresh dill salad.
- Chop an orange or a tangerine along with some fresh mint. Put it in the bottom of a big mug. Add boiling water. Steep for a few minutes. Sweeten if desired; enjoy a fresh “European-style” cup of hot tea. (If desired, chamomile, a favorite tea bag, or other fresh herbs such as parsley can also be added).
Remember, oranges and tangerines are mostly interchangeable in recipes. For best results, remove the skin, seeds (if there are any) and pith, the bitter white membrane that surrounds each segment.
Enjoy these recipes:
- Beet Salad with Oranges
- Wild Rice Salad with Oranges and Currants
- Millet Cereal with Mandarin Oranges and Dates
- Mixed Greens with Blood Oranges and Pecorino
- Sweet Onion Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
- Orange and Fennel Salad
- Asian Chicken Salad
- Lamb Tagine with Dates and Oranges
- Fennel and Tangerine Salad
- Sesame Scallops with Tangerine and Bok Choy
- Green Beans with Mint and Satsumas
- Brie with Cardamom-Scented Clementine Chutney
- Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges
Do you have a favorite way of eating oranges? I’d love to know.