How To Entertain This March – With Alexandra Dudley
How To Entertain This March – With Alexandra Dudley

How To Entertain This March – With Alexandra Dudley

Alexandra Dudley is a food columnist, cookbook author and host of the Come For Supper podcast. In this monthly column, she shares delicious recipes for chic entertaining. This time, it’s a fresh three-course menu with a focus on vibrant blood oranges.
By 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.


Blood Orange Martini

Entirely different to the classic dry martini, this is sweet and citrusy in a very good way.

Total Time
10 Minutes
60ml of blood orange juice (roughly 2 oranges)
120ml of vodka
2 tbsp of Cointreau
A couple of dash of orange bitters
Step 1

Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a glass.

Step 2

If you don’t have a cocktail shaker just add all the ingredients into a jug filled with ice. Stir vigorously then strain and serve.

Step 3

Garnish with a twist of blood orange peel.

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.

Total Time
30 Minutes
1 tsp of whole coriander seed
2 blood oranges
5 tbsp of olive oil
3 fat cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1½ tsp of Aleppo chilli pepper flakes (or chilli flakes)
1-2 red chillis, seeds removed and cut into match sticks
1 pinch of flaky sea salt
750g fillet of salmon
Coriander leaves to garnish
Step 1

Preheat your oven to 250°C Fan.

Step 2

Place the teaspoon of coriander seeds into a dry frying pan over a medium heat and toast for about 3 minutes until they begin to smell fragrant. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and crush. (You could also use a small bowl and end of a spice jar or rolling pin for this)

Step 3

Finely slice just one of your blood oranges and make sure the rest of your ingredients are prepared.

Step 4

Into an ovenproof dish large enough to accommodate the salmon, place the olive oil, finely sliced garlic, coriander seed, red pepper flakes, chopped chillis, finely sliced orange, zest and juice of the remaining orange and a good pinch of salt.

Step 5

Add the salmon fillet and toss everything together to coat making sure you turn the salmon over a couple of times to ensure it has a good casting of the marinade.

Step 6

Loosely arrange some of the blood orange on top and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 7

Allow it to rest for a further five minutes (it will continue to cook).

Step 8

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve. This dish is delicious served warm or at room temperature. I love it with some jasmine or brown rice and either wok-fried greens or sesame oil drizzled 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.

Total Time
1 Hour
1kg of rhubarb
50g of sugar
Juice of 1 orange
For the crumble topping:
200g of jumbo oats
150g of flour
100g of light brown soft sugar
30g of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 pinch of sea salt
140ml of olive oil
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan.

Step 2

Chop the rhubarb into thumb sized long sticks. Place in a large saucepan with the sugar and orange juice. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb has softened but still retains most of its shape. Stir occasionally.

Step 3

In a large bowl, place the oats, flour, sugar, stem ginger, spices and sea salt and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Then pour in the olive oil and stir again until incorporated.

Step 4

Place the rhubarb into an oven proof dish, pour over the crumble mix and gently pat down. Bake for 40 minutes until the crumble is golden and the edges are bubbling. Serve with double cream or vanilla ice-cream.

For more from Alexandra, follow her @AlexandraDudley or visit

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