How To Entertain This March – With Alexandra Dudley
Citrus is often the thing I cling to in the winter. I will buy as many oranges, lemons and satsumas as I can and dot bowlfuls all over my home. All week long they spark joy – whatever the weather. In March there is a special type of citrus that I indulge in – blood oranges. Slightly more bitter and almost fruitier than a classic orange, blood oranges contain hints of pomegranate and cherry. They often display slightly blushing skins with the fruit inside ranging from pinkish flecks to a deep purplish red. I have yet to learn how to predict the redness of the fruit inside, but I rather enjoy the Russian roulette of it. Each one feels like a surprise.
Like for asparagus, the season for blood oranges is not long, so I tend to enjoy them as much as I can. The juice adds a delicious rosy twist to the classic martini and thick slices become almost candied as they cook with hot pink salmon. There is rhubarb crumble for pudding with a kick of ginger and thick double cream, and no doubt a large bowl of blood oranges in the centre of the table to peel absentmindedly as someone pours the coffee and people dig in for seconds. Serve with a good white wine. I have been enjoying this house white from Top Cuvée.
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Blood Orange Martini
Entirely different to the classic dry martini, this is sweet and citrusy in a very good way.
Baked Salmon With Blood Orange, Chilli & Coriander Seed
I love the colour of this dish. The pink and red hues of the salmon, blood orange and chilli clash brilliantly and, as they cook, create a vibrant almost tangerine-coloured oil. The blood orange zest, juice and slices create an almost jammy texture that keeps the salmon beautifully moist and ensures the garlic cooks to soft, sweet, caramelised perfection. If blood oranges are not in season, use regular oranges. I love to serve this with some jasmine or brown rice and either wok-cooked greens or purple sprouting broccoli.
Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble
Crumble may seem like a simple choice for a dinner party pudding but it’s a crowd pleaser. I love the combination of ginger and rhubarb, while the addition of stem ginger gives it a fiery, almost toffee-like kick. You’ll notice I use olive oil in place of butter for my crumble, making this naturally dairy free. I made my first olive oil crumble while catering for a vegan client and the result was so perfectly crisp and golden that I have never looked back.
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