Blood Oranges

Blood Oranges In Season
Photo: Kenneth Chen

With citrus at its juicy peak, it’s a sun-starved cook’s obligation to find more exciting uses than morning juice for the uncommon oranges flooding the market. Jody Williams, late of Giorgione and soon to be chef at Gusto, opening this spring in the West Village, favors an absurdly simple, sharply seasoned blood-orange salad—provided, she says, that the fruit come from Sicily, where its flesh is so dark it’s nearly black. The Californian variety is easier to find—and just as delicious—but according to the Italocentric Williams, a Golden State native herself, “it’s not a blood orange for me.”

Jody Williams’s Insalata D’arancia
1 anchovy fillet
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons good red-wine vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 blood oranges
1/4 cup red onion, julienned and rinsed in cold water
4 basil leaves
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

(1) In a small bowl, beat anchovy, oregano, garlic, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Peel oranges, removing pith.
(2) Slice horizontally into thin rounds. Arrange in single layer on chilled serving plate.
(3) Garnish with onions, basil, and olives. Pour vinaigrette over salad and marinate five minutes.

Blood Oranges