(ARA) – Peruse the dishes featured in America’s top restaurants and epicurean magazines and it’s easy to see that culinary trends this year are focusing on refreshingly bold flavors and natural ways to sweeten dishes. This movement has motivated home chefs to experiment in the kitchen with innovative ways to enhance the flavor and nutrition of their favorite recipes.
Recently, the Florida Department of Citrus called upon amateur chefs to put their culinary creativity to the test in the “Back to the Grove” recipe contest for a chance to win a grand prize trip to the Sunshine State. Citrus enthusiasts from across the country submitted original recipes containing at least one 8-ounce serving of 100 percent Florida orange juice, which contributes almost 25 percent of the UDSA daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables when consumed in a single serving. The bold and sweet taste of Florida orange juice makes it an ideal ingredient to perk up everyday recipes by providing a splash of flavor to dishes from breakfast to dessert.
Contest winner Kelly Boe was inspired by the zesty flavor of citrus and Florida-style cuisine. Her Orange Couscous with Cinnamon Vinaigrette earned top honors from a panel of expert judges at the highly acclaimed Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts for taking a fresh approach to the common side dish.
Those looking to bring sunshine into their kitchen can easily recreate Boe’s contest-winning recipe:
- 1 cup 100 percent Florida orange juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup couscous
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- In a saucepan, bring orange juice and salt to a boil. Add couscous; stir. Remove saucepan from heat and cover; let stand 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Place couscous in medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar and cinnamon until emulsified. Set aside.
- Add golden raisins, macadamia nuts and green onion to couscous. Pour vinaigrette over couscous mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until combined. Serve at room temperature.
To view more Florida-inspired recipes and get tips for cooking with orange juice, visit www.FloridaJuice.com/BackToTheGrove.