Did I promise no more blood orange recipes? I hope not – though I really do think this baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette is my absolute last recipe with blood oranges until next year. Maybe.
Regardless, if you happen to have blood oranges on hand that need a purpose, one of the easiest things to do with them is to salt preserve them. Blood oranges impart the salt brine with a lovely rose hue. The salted blood oranges themselves are more subtle than a lemon and infuse a salty-citrus flavor to a dish. Just a quick salted citrus tutorial: take your blood orange (or lemon or other citrus) and make cuts to quarter the orange. Don’t cut all the way through – you’ll want to leave the orange attached at the bottom. Fan your orange out and add salt. Gather the orange up around the salt. In a pint jar, layer about 1/2 inch of salt at the bottom. Add your salted orange and push down with the end of a wooden spoon. Add another layer of salt and then do the same with another orange. Add another layer of salt and another orange if you can. Layer with salt at the top. If you don’t have quite enough salt/juice to cover the top blood orange, you can add a bit of filtered water to top off. Let the salted blood oranges hang out in the fridge for about a month, shaking occasionally to distribute the salt.
Isn’t it pretty? Once you have your salted citrus, you can make baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette. The bitter part comes from the use of bitters. If you happen to have even more blood oranges on hand and have about two weeks to wait, Kelly Bakes has a beautiful recipe for bitter orange bitters. I used some of the blood oranges from the windfall at the start of January to make these bitters – they aren’t fully infused yet, but I used just a bit of them for baby kale salad with bitter blood orange vinaigrette and it was heavenly! The vinaigrette is both salty and tangy – a perfect counterpoint for baby kale. You can most definitely use store bought orange bitters to achieve the same effect.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped salt preserved blood orange
- 1 teaspoon orange or blood orange bitters
- 1 package baby kale
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt preserved blood orange, and bitters in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Tighten the lid and shake vigorously to combine.
- Dress the baby kale with the vinaigrette and enjoy!
- Serves four - six