In Season: Make fresh OJ with Valencia oranges

In Season: Make fresh OJ with Valencia oranges

11:59 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

As citrus’ main season peters out – bye-bye Cara Caras, blood oranges, Rio Stars, tangerines and the rest – Valencia oranges come in. These oranges are prized not for eating but for juicing. Many come from Mexico.

Fresh-squeezed orange juice is a treat any time. It combines easily with other fruit juices over ice (try raspberry, pineapple or pomegranate) for a spectacular hot-weather cooler. It makes a memorable mimosa or tequila sunrise. You also can freeze it in ice-cube trays, then store the cubes in a zip-top freezer bag to use as needed for salad dressings, marinades, drinks and other recipes.

Kim Pierce

[Click image for a larger version]
COOL AND ICY: Orange Granita with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint Strawberries

Place ¼cup sugar, ¼cup freshly squeezed orange juice and ¼teaspoon black pepper (optional) in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 ¾ cups orange juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch shallow pan and place in the freezer. Every few minutes, stir and scrape the granita with a spoon to create an icy texture. This procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the freezer.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 3 cups sliced fresh, ripe strawberries; 3 tablespoons fresh mint (cut into long, thin strips); and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Let sit while granita freezes.

Divide granita among 6 dishes and top with strawberries.

Makes 6 servings.

SOURCE: Canyon Ranch Spa chef Scott Uehlein developed this for the Florida Department of Citrus.

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