It’s finally citrus season. I’m not sure what it is, but every year, I think citrus season starts in November…then I wait impatiently through adequate fruit until late January/early February for great citrus to finally arrive. And now, it’s citrus season to the max! Cue my winter produce happy dance (it looks like all my other happy dances). So let’s start with these blood orange crostini!
Blood Orange Crostini
Whoever invented blood oranges knew what was up when it came to beautiful food (see them just sliced on a platter here – GORGEOUS!). I used to be afraid of blood oranges (I think I weirdly associated them with blood sausage, which honestly I never had until our trip to Chicago a few years ago).
Blood oranges aren’t all that different from other oranges except they’re a bit tangier – not more bitter though. And they have a depth of flavor that navel oranges, which I also love, just don’t have!
When to Eat Crostini?
Oh my gosh. ALL. DAY. LONG! Well, these blood orange crostini at least. One of the best ways to mellow out anything tangy is to pair it with something good and creamy. For this crostini setup, I used whipped cream cheese lightly sweetened with honey.
Can you Make these ahead of time?
Oh yeah! As with any crostini recipe, you can make the parts ahead of time, just don’t assemble them until you’re ready to serve/eat. For the toasts, after you’ve got them perfect, let them cool completely on a wire rack before placing them in a container to store until eating time.
The oranges can certainly be roasted ahead of time and then just stored in the refrigerator – and same with the whipped cream cheese setup!
If you just need every meal served on a lovely piece of toast, try this smoked salmon tartine, spicy avocado toast, a tuna tartare tartine for two, beautiful radish toast, some ricotta and zucchini toast, or this ceviche avocado toast! One loaf of bread and you’re set for the week on meals!
BLOOD ORANGE CROSTINI
Citrus season can be a glorious taste-treat sensation. But how many oranges and blood oranges can you eat? There's no limit in my book once you start adding them to dishes like these blood orange crostini. Feel free to use any type of orange/citrus, but absolutely try this version. It's sublime!
- 3 blood oranges peeled and segmented
- ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup whipped cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice I used Meyer lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey or more to taste
- 10 slices baguette toasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans toasted
- Fresh thyme leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the orange segments in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Gently stir the fruit around the pan to coat in the oil and thyme.
Spread back into a single layer. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until the juices begin to bubble. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt.
Stir together the cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey until smooth.
Top each piece of toasted baguette with an equal amount of cream cheese. Top with two to three orange segments. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and thyme leaves before serving.
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