When it’s January in Southern California, there’s no time for post-holiday blues because the orange season is underway and it’s time to get pickin’!
(Side note to friends who don’t live in Southern California: Sorry. This is not meant to rub in the fact that each day it is 72 and sunny here. It’s just a statement of fact. And we’d love to have you visit any time.)
One of our favorite places to pick oranges is at Heritage Park in La Verne, CA. While many of California’s small orange groves have been sold off and repurposed, the orange grove at Heritage Park has been lovingly preserved by the La Verne Heritage Foundation. Onsite is an 1800s farmhouse and barn, surrounded by 1 1/2 acres of citrus trees. You can go there on Saturday mornings to pick oranges and grapefruit, and while you’re there you can take a tour of the frozen-in-time farmhouse (and gawk at the seemingly ancient cooking implements in the kitchen).
At Heritage Park, there are navel and Valencia oranges available for picking. Navel oranges are a delicious sweet snacking orange, while Valencias are extra-juicy and perfect for juicing.
While it seems like Valencia oranges would be most useful in recipes (because you’re juicing them) we seem to use the navel oranges a lot more. They’re so bright and pretty, and we add them into just about everything (salads, salsas, pancakes, etc.)
What we’ve done with our navel oranges here is add them into an easy coleslaw. We’ve also made the coleslaw a little extra-orangey by adding orange juice to the dressing. The result is a bright, sweet and tart coleslaw that’ll give you just a little extra spring in your step, whether it’s sunny and 72… or snowing outside.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 T. cider vinegar
- 1 T. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 16- ounce bag coleslaw mix shredded cabbage and carrots
- 2 large navel oranges peeled and sliced
In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, orange juice, sugars, and salt. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
In a large salad bowl, place the coleslaw mix and orange pieces. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Optional: Garnish with additional orange slices.
Note: An easy way to prepare the oranges is to cut them into slices, cut each slice in half-moon shapes, and then gently remove the peel. Then you can separate the segments of the peeled orange slices.