Once found at the bottom of Christmas stockings, oranges today mostly end up in breakfast-table juice glasses. Chock-full of nutrients like vitamin C, they also lend sweet, tangy flavor to foods.
How to Choose Oranges
Look for oranges that feel heavy for their size and have firm, finely textured skin. But don’t use skin color as an indicator of flavor or ripeness; some oranges are artificially dyed to look more vibrant, so those with greenish hues can be just as tasty as bright orange ones. Avoid any that have soft spots or feel spongy. Varieties include seedless navels, juicy Valencias, and dark red–fleshed blood oranges.
How to Store Oranges
Oranges will keep at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
How to Prepare Oranges
You can peel and section the fruit with your hands, but for salads and other dishes, you may want to prepare the fruit with a bit more finesse. With a sharp knife, cut off the top and the bottom of the orange, then cut away the remaining peel and white pith. Next, either slice the fruit or cut along the membranes between segments to release them. If you need the zest, grate it before peeling the fruit.
How to Use Oranges
Citrus juice and zest can enliven all types of sweet and savory dishes; the fruit can also be used in jellies, sorbets, and ice creams. Try sprinkling unpeeled orange halves with brown sugar, then broiling until the sugar is melted.
Real Simple Orange Recipes:
- Orange-Thyme Punch
- Trout With Wild Rice, Radicchio, and Oranges
- Seared Scallops With Snow Peas and Orange
- Orange-Glazed Cookies
- Spicy Orange Chicken With Cucumber Couscous
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.