In Season: Oranges are at their peak between December and April. Since oranges keep well in cold storage, they can be found in supermarkets throughout the year.
What to Look For: The most common variety of orange for eating is the navel orange, so named because the blossom end often resembles a navel. The skin of a ripe navel orange ranges in color from deep orange to yellow-green. Choose fruit that's heavy for its size and free of soft spots.
How to Store: Oranges can be stored at room temperature for several days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Arborio rice, a variety often used in risotto, gives this vanilla bean-infused rice pudding a creamy, slightly chewy texture. Whipped cream is folded into the cooled pudding before serving, and orange slices glazed in honey syrup are arranged on top of each portion.
Seville oranges, also known as sour oranges or bitter oranges, are the preferred variety for making marmalade because of their tangy and aromatic orange flavor. To make this classic marmalade, eight whole oranges and two lemons are sliced, boiled, and refrigerated overnight. The next day, the orange mixture is boiled with sugar until it reaches the perfect texture, and then portioned into jars. This marmalade will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Choose navel oranges, blood oranges, or a combination of the two for this easy orange compote. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks; packed in a decorative jar, it makes a great hostess gift. The compote makes a delectable topping for yogurt, ice cream, cheesecake, or gingerbread.
Whole oranges are gently simmered for two hours to remove the bitterness from their pith. After being pureed in the food processor, the orange puree is mixed into almond batter to make a moist and fragrant cake. Additional oranges are simmered in simple syrup to form a candied topping.
The Cara Cara is a variety of navel orange with sweet, pink-hued flesh that has a hint of cherry flavor. To make this punch, freshly squeezed Cara Cara orange juice is mixed with sparkling apple cider. To give it a kick, add some Calvados. Crystallized ginger is ground to a fine powder and mixed with sugar to coat the rims of the serving glasses.
Orange-flower water, available at Middle Eastern grocers and specialty shops, adds a delicate perfume to the honey-rosemary syrup that bathes navel orange slices. This light dessert is garnished with cinnamon-sugar coated hazelnuts.
Sliced orange, fennel bulb, and tiny Nicoise olives are tossed in a spicy lemon dressing. Serve this boldly flavored salad with roasted lamb or salmon.