Thursday, February 17, 2011
Lately I’ve been trying to work oranges into all sorts of dishes. Pasta with Sardines. Green Bean Salad. I’ve pretty much been grating orange rind directly into everything, using it like I would parmigiano.
Why? I guess it’s partly due to the winter doldrums. Everything gets so dreary in February, and a bit of citrus sunshine just seems like a good idea. Also, it’s tarocco season. That would be blood oranges from Sicily that are only now coming into Season. And when tarocchi are good, I can’t seem to get enough of them.
While I usually buy most of my fruit and vegetables at the various farmers’ markets around town, I’m almost always disappointed with the oranges. I think it has to do with there not being any great oranges that come from Lazio. The really great ones come, of course, from Sicily. And tarocchi are my favorites.
And the very best ones that I’ve been able to find are from my local fruttivendolo, Titta, on Via dei Serpenti. About this time every year she gets in tarocchi directly from Sicily. They are always more expensive than the rest of her oranges, and come wrapped in cheerful tissue paper (I’m always a sucker for the wrapping) to protect them.
So, in my effort to work citrus into every course, you know it was only a matter of time before orange met cocktail. I’m not a big fan of the orange/vodka or orange/prosecco combos. So I went straight for the campari and gin, with a bit of limon di pica from our terrace. Bright and cheery. A perfect orange cure for the February blues.
1 oz gin
1.5 oz Campari
3 oz fresh blood orange juice
1/4 limon di pica (or one small piece lime)
Pour gin, campari and orange juice into glass. Squeeze in lime, and stir.