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[personal profile] malsperanza
January is the season of blood oranges, which in Italy are called tarocchi. California has started growing them, although the color is not as deep a red, they tend to be tart rather than sweet, and the flavor is not the intense mouthbomb of a real Sicilian blood orange.

In celebration of the season, here is my favorite recipe for blood oranges:

Insalata di Tarocch

Peel the oranges and slice them into thin rounds, cut on a plate so as not to lose any of the juice
Peel a red onion and slice into thin rings
Using a mandoline, slice a fennel bulb into thin shavings, cutting crosswise (if this were Sicily, you would be using wild fennel gathered from a Greek, Roman, or Phoenician archaeological site)
Mince a bit of the fennel leaf and a bit of broad-leaf parsley

Toss all in good olive oil, salt and coarse ground black pepper, and the juice
Because the oranges are tart, you shouldn't need any vinegar

Snooty people add gaeta olives, but my rule of Italian cooking is: Never too many flavors; generally no more than three (and if feeling strict, I may omit the parsley)

BTW, the same recipe works well for making seviche of octopus or squid--you may need to add some lemon or lime juice if the oranges aren't acid enough to pickle the fish. Or you can use squidlies preserved in oil. And to add the fish you can leave out the fennel.
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