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Oranges: Kitchen Basics

Orange slices ripe2

Orange slices ripeSweet oranges are great for eating out of hand, but oranges can also be cooked. Here’s a guide to cooking oranges:

Bake. Remove the orange peel and all white membrane then cut the orange in half crosswise. Glaze and bake until hot (15 to 25 minutes depending on size of fruit).

Grill. Cut the orange in half crosswise or into ¾-inch slices. Grill until hot and streaked with brown (about 5 minutes for slices, 10 minutes for halves).

Poach. Peel and remove all white membrane from the orange. Simmer in poaching liquid until hot.

Sauté. Peel and remove all white membrane. Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices. Sauté until hot (about 3 minutes).

Add oranges cooked or raw to sweet and savory dishes. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Use as a breakfast fruit, snack, or dessert.
  • Add sections or slices to fruit salads or compotes.
  • Use to garnish chicken or turkey salads and seafood.
  • Blend with fish, duck, beef, and pork dishes
  • Use to flavor savory dishes, vegetables, sauces, and salad dressings.
  • Use to flavor cakes, curds, tarts, gelatin molds, and puddings.
  • Add to soufflés, flans, crêpes, sherbet, and ice creams
  • Grated orange rind to flavor custards, creams, doughs, stews, pastries, and cookies.
  • Zest and pulp can be candied.
  • Use bitter oranges to make marmalade, jam, jelly, syrup or sauce.
  • Press to make juice.

Flavor partners. Oranges have a flavor affinity for almonds, avocado, beets, black olives, chicken, chocolate, cinnamon, custards, fennel, mint, olive oil, red onion, roast pork, salad greens, seafood, sherry vinegar, sweet potatoes, vanilla, and winter squash.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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  1. I had never thought to cook oranges in the manner you described above — what a neat idea! I bet that grilled oranges would be a great accompaniment to grilled meat or even tofu. I’m definitely going to try it next time I’m grilling, especially since I’m finding such good oranges at the farmer’s market right now.

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