I have not had any difficulty finding ways to enjoy McEvoy’s just released 2017 Olio Nuovo. I have drizzled it on all winter soups, crab feasts and roasted vegetables. A friend of mine says her husband has been pouring it on his burritos. When it’s good – it’s good. While cruising through recipes on the internet, I came across a delight at the intersection of Olio Nuovo and winter citrus.
This recipe is from Alice Medrich who is a chocolate authority, award winning cookbook author, teacher and business woman. She opened Cocolat in the late 1970’s and changed America’s relationship with chocolate. While living in France she fell in love with the local chocolate truffles and successfully transplanted the technique when she opened her shop in Berkeley. She is thoroughly professional in everything she does and her recipes are always extremely well tested. Her concepts are visionary and she has a wonderful dry wit. So, in spite of the fact that my initial reaction to a recipe of oranges, olive oil and chocolate was cautious, I had to try it. I have been looking for recipes because, as we discussed in a previous blog, Olio Nuovo should be used now when it is fresh and most delicious.
It is citrus season in California and I had no trouble finding navel oranges, Cara Cara and Blood oranges at the Farmers Market. California navels have a long growing season and are available from November through April with the peak being January, February and March. Cara Cara oranges are a red navel orange that originated in Venezuela. They are sweet and low acid but have a complex flavor and a beautiful pink color. The California season for Cara Cara oranges is November through April. Blood oranges originated in China or the Southern Mediterranean. They are the primary orange now grown in Italy. There are three major cultivars; Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello. They all have a slightly different appearance and flavor profile. Their seasonal availability runs concurrent with the navel and Cara Cara.
This recipe is truly a celebration of two distinctive seasonal ingredients! I served it as a side with a Dungeness crab feast to a very positive response. McEvoy Ranch’s 2016 Marin County Stubbs Vineyard Chardonnay provided a delicious pairing.
Oranges with Olive Oil and Chocolate
Serves 6 to 8
- 6 naval oranges or oranges of choice
- 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 ounces dark chocolate (I like 70 to 72% cacao)
- ⅜ teaspoon flakey sea salt or more, to taste
Use a sharp knife to remove the peel, pith, and all of the white membrane from each orange as follows: Cut a generous slice from the end of one orange to expose a round of bare fruit about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Repeat with the other end. Set the orange, one of the cut end’s down, on the cutting board. Starting at the top edge of the rind, follow the contour of the fruit as you cut downward with a very short sawing stroke to remove a wide strip of rind, pith, and membrane. Continue around the fruit, removing as much membrane as possible without wasting too much fruit. Repeat with the remaining oranges, saving any juices from the cutting board.
Slice the oranges thinly and arrange the slices, slightly overlapping, on a serving platter. Pour any collected orange juices over the slices and then drizzle with the olive oil. Using the coarse holes on your box or flat grater, grate the chocolate over the oranges and then sprinkle them with the salt. You can pass the olive oil bottle and salt—and even the chunk of chocolate and grater—around at the table, if you like. At my house, everyone likes to customize.
Purchase McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil here.