Delicious Blood Orange Lunch: Lucio’s Restaurant
Blood Orange Season has started. I love seasonal food. I can’t resist celebrating the new season of fabulous things to eat and cook with.
A friend of mine told me the other day that her Grandfather in Italy took her on a walk through the garden when she was a child. He picked a fruit from the Orange tree and sliced it in half. She was shocked to see it was bleeding. Grandpa told her the Orange was brokenhearted to leave the tree, and she has never eaten one since.
There were no such scary stories when I dined at Lucio’s last week to celebrate with a Delicious Blood Orange lunch inspired by Red Belly Citrus Growers from The Riverina area of South Western New South Wales. This lunch was aptly called “One Bloody Big Seasonal Feast” and it was!
The Riverina’s climatic conditions almost perfectly match conditions in Sicily, known for the finest Blood Oranges in the world. (More information here)
Lucio’s Restaurant in Paddington Sydney is one many will know, as Lucio Galletto, OAM opened it in 1983. This two hatted Northern Italian restaurant filled with astonishing artwork, follows the seasons. It focuses on the Northern Italian cuisine, of Lucio’s Ligurian heritage. The food is classic but modern.
The tables were dressed in Blood red Roses for this lunch. Can you see the Blood Oranges tucked in there?
Before the lunch Lucio regaled us with a chat about both his wife (of 40 years) and his love of fresh produce.
Climate and terroir have an enormous effect on the colour of Blood Oranges, they also start off quite tart before getting sweeter towards the middle of the season. This is the menu
A Solerno Serata cocktail with a hint of rosemary was served to kick things off and was made with Blood Orange Juice and this deeply Blood Orange Flavoured Salerno Liqueur. Goat Cheese crostini with Blood Orange Marmalade were handed around.
To follow, ” Crudo di pesce” a generous and gorgeous version of Kingfish Carpaccio with Blood Orange, fennel and pops of salty black olive slices. The fennel was chosen as it is a much loved vegetable in Sicily, and Lucio felt it was a perfect match, saying that he loved the texture of the fennel and the juice of the Blood Orange with the Kingfish because it was so much more delicate than lemon. We drank Pinot Grigio La Tunella 2014 from Fruili, also perfect as it was low in acidity, fruit based but wonderfully full bodied and almost silky with the raw Kingfish.
“Anatra all’Arancia”, Roast blood orange marinated Duck, grilled Radicchio, roast yellow beetroot and Blood Orange Sauce. There was a raddichio salad and crunchy roasted potatoes. The Duck is golden with perfectly rendered fat, it’s soft and still moist, while falling apart at the touch of the fork. A Piazzano Chianti was fresh, with cherry notes and soft gentle tannins .
The next course was perhaps one of the highlights of such an already stellar lunch. The dessert. Two ” cannoli di cioccolato” crunchy yielding chocolate cannoli filled with a delicate blood orange scented cream , light as a feather and soft as a pillow. The shells sat in a pool of Blood Orange flavoured chocolate sauce , shiny and smooth and utterly moorish. To top that off we were offered a Solerno Blood Orange Esspresso
Try some blood oranges yourself this season.
47 Windsor Street, Paddington NSW 2021
Tel +61 2 9380 5996
Fax +61 2 9361 0219
Red Belly Blood Oranges
My Kitchen stories has no affiliation with these businesses.
Lucio mentioned a recipe from his “The Art of Pasta ” cookbook he produced with David Dale. I am hoping to bring you this unusual recipe using blood oranges and pasta soon.