Orange is the new…

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Citrus recipes to brighten up your winter cooking

Each time she visits her family in India, Usha, a friend of mine, carries among her gifts a tray of navel oranges. Her mum and her mum-in-law both love her for it.

Usha’s parents are arriving for a visit here this fortnight, and they couldn’t have picked a better time: oranges are in season. Hmm, perhaps they deliberately picked this time… Either way, this column is dedicated to Usha’s parents. Note, Usha, that the recipes are all as sattvic as possible, in keeping with your family’s vegetarianism. (Not sure about that gelatine though …) The salad is without meat, and there is no alcohol in the desserts, a pet passion for which I have lately become (in)famous.

 

Couscous with Orange

  • 1 ½ cups couscous
  • ¾ cup dates, quartered
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 medium grapefruits, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 12 red radishes, sliced thinly
  • Salad leaves of choice (preferably rocket)
  • 1 bunch mint leaves, some chopped, some left whole
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil
  • Pinch cinnamon powder

Put couscous in a deep bowl and cover with 1 ½ cups boiling water. Cover with plate until water is absorbed. Then fluff with fork and let cool. Then add in dates, walnuts and oils and mix gently.

To make dressing, put in all the ingredients in a screwtop jar and shake well.

Add to couscous the oranges, grapefruits, radish, herbs, salt and pepper. Pour in dressing and mix gently.

Orange Delight

  • 400g tin condensed milk
  • 400 ml fresh cream
  • 600 ml fresh orange juice (strained)
  • 3 tbsp gelatine

Mix condensed milk and cream with a whisk till well blended.

Soak the gelatine in a little orange juice and place over a pan of hot water till melted. Quickly mix in with the rest of the orange juice. Introduce this to the condensed milk-cream mixture and mix well. Pour into a flat dish and leave to set in the refrigerator.

To serve, decorate with segmented oranges, kiwi fruit slices and strawberries.

 

Orange Surprise

  • 1 ½ cup fresh cream
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp gelatine
  • A few drops orange food colour (optional).

Whisk cream with sugar until well-blended.

Soften ice cream and add orange juice and colour if using.

Sprinkle gelatine in half cup boiling water and stir till completely dissolved. Mix together ice cream, cream-and-sugar mixture and gelatine, and combine well. Pour into individual serving bowls, cover tightly with cling-film and leave to set in the refrigerator overnight. To serve, decorate with fresh fruit.

Date and Orange Pudding

  • 1 ½ cups seedless dates, chopped
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp gelatine
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • Orange segments for garnish

Mix dates with sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Simmer over a low fire for five minutes. Sprinkle gelatine over 1/3 cup of boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Add to the dates and allow to cool. Whisk yogurt till smooth and add orange rind. Add to the date mixture. Pour in orange juice. Refrigerate until thickened but not completely set. Then fold in the cream. Pour into a deep bowl and return to the refrigerator to set, overnight. Serve decorated with orange segments.

 

Strawberries with Orange and Mascarpone

  • 500g strawberries
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 200g mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp brandy or orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Hull and halve strawberries. Put them in a large bowl and sprinkle 1 tbsp caster sugar over.

Combine orange juice and brandy or liqueur and pour over strawberries. Stir and set aside for ten minutes. Beat remaining sugar, mascarpone and vanilla essence well until combined.

To serve, spoon mascarpone into serving glass or bowl, top with strawberries and drizzle syrup over.

 

Orange Apricot Cream

  • 425g can apricots in natural juice
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • ½ cup fresh cream, whipped
  • 200g low fat apricot yogurt
  • 2 tsp gelatine dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp gelatine extra, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • Kiwi fruit slices, orange segments and mint leaves for garnish.

 

Drain apricots and puree, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Combine puree with orange rind, cream, yogurt and gelatine. Spoon the mixture into dessert glasses or individual bowls and refrigerate until set. Combine the orange juice and extra gelatine and pour over the set apricot cream. Refrigerate until set. Serve decorated with apricot pieces, orange segments, kiwi fruit slices and mint leaves.