With ruby-red to maroon-colored flesh, blood oranges are a surprise when you cut them open; taste-wise, they’re tart-sweet and slightly berry-like. Store: To keep these ruby gems fresh longer, choose refrigeration over the fruit bowl―they’ll only last only a couple of days at room temperature, but up to two weeks in the fridge.
Blood oranges are best eaten fresh―out of hand, or in salads, salsas, or marmalades. If you’re following a recipe you may be asked to section the fruit. To do so, peel the orange, cut between the white membranes to expose the flesh, and remove the sections (for more juice, squeeze the leftover membranes).
You’ve no doubt seen frisée before, perhaps without realizing it, the frizzy green leaves are often tucked away inside a mesclun baby greens mix. Frisée is a variety of chicory, as you’ll be clued in to with the first solo bite: it’s one of those bitters we were talking about in last week’s newsletter. Store: in the fridge for up to five days (rinse first), in plastic or other non-breathable material, so it doesn’t wilt. Use: most often served fresh in salads, try it wilted or sautéed to mellow its bitterness. Frisée pairs well with flavor-packed ingredients and fats: Dress leaves with a warm vinaigrette of roast-chicken pan drippings and sherry or red wine vinegar, toss in browned bits of thick-cut pancetta, ham, or steak tips, or top with a poached or fried egg.
Mushrooms are in a class all their own. Literally, they are quite distinct in nature and classified as their own kingdom, separate from plants and animals. But, they are packed with nutrients and make a great addition to a healthy diet.
Mushrooms are good raw on salads or in an array of cooked dishes. You can dice them and sauté with onions as a base for scrambled eggs or stir fry or in soup. They also blend well with ground beef, enhancing the flavor and making the meat go farther when adding to tacos or in pasta.
Featured Recipe: Frisée-Parsley Salad
1 medium head frisée, trimmed and washed
1/4 cup sweet onion, minced or alternately sliced into very thin rings
1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, leaves picked and washed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Combine frisée, onion, and parsley in a medium bowl and toss well.
In a separate small non-metal bowl or pint-size mason jar (works great to store any leftover dressing in if you want to double the batch and have on hand for later), whisk together oil and vinegar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add dressing to greens and, using clean hands, toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Traci Des Jardins