Kumquats are amazing. You eat the whole fruit. They are the size of an olive, the rind and pith are sweet like candy and the flesh is just the right amount of tart. I appreciate that they appear in markets when it starts to get cold because they are cheerful and full of vitamin C.
A green salad adorned with kumquats is cheerful, elegant and takes no time at all to make. Today I came home from school and served this salad with some re-heated Carrot Soup with Fennel and Fresh Thyme that I froze a while back. I am feeling very smug right now, because it was really good. It was fancy restaurant good. It was better than fancy restaurant good because it was healthier and it didn’t cost as much AND I didn’t have to change out my school cloths (which were covered in the misplaced art supplies of small children). The soup is the simplest recipe in the world, so even if I had not already had some frozen, this would have been fast. With frozen soup, it took much longer to take the photographs than it did to prepare the food!
A cheerful kumquat salad needs 4 elements.
- Sweet and tart kumquat sliced thin (seeds removed).
- Earthy salad greens (spinach is looking best in my neck if the woods these days).
- A salad dressing of citrus juice, olive oil, a tiny bit of agave, salt and pepper.
- A tiny bit of some thing fatty, salty and, if you are like me, smokey. This is where you can get creative. In my opinion, it is best to choose just one fatty ingredient, use only a small amount of it and slice or crumble it into small bits. The goal here is to provide a balancing flavour to the star of the show (kumquat) not to overpower them. Some nice options are…
- A bit of pancetta or smoked duck fried until brown and then crumbled or sliced
- Shredded roasted duck from chinatown
- Those big delicious green spanish olives, pitted and chopped
- Marcona Almonds (spanish almonds that have been fried in olive oil and salted)
- Small cubes of ripe avocado
- I have never tired this, but toasted nori seaweed would probably be great too (although not fatty)!