by Kate Heyhoe
Kumquats are cool. You can eat the entire fruit because the rind is actually sweet, sweeter than the tart interior. Slice these small, oval or round-shaped fruits thin for this salad, discarding the few seeds as you go. The dressing plays up their sweet-tart flavors, mixing fresh lemon juice with honey and olive oil, and is licorice-laced by a spoonful of ouzo. While the kumquats are actually part of the salad, the vinaigrette is designed specifically with their flavor in mind. The subtle and complex balance teams well with chicken, grilled meats, and seafood. If your mesclun mixture includes radicchio, all the better—the bitterness plays well against the citrus and honey accents, and the colors of red, green and orange make this salad a visual stunner. I used a sage honey in this dressing because I prefer it's musky flavor for savory dishes, but any honey will work.
1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ouzo liqueur
4 ounces mesclun salad greens
4 ounces kumquats (about 10)
Fresh ground pepper
Note: I prefer to use the chopping beaker of a handblender (or a mini-chopper) for salad dressings, because it effortlessly chops garlic and emulsifies the dressing so well, that it won't separate even after several hours, but you can also chop the garlic by hand and whisk the dressing together by hand.
Finely mince the garlic. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, salt, honey, and ouzo. Blend or slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.
Roll the kumquats between your palm and the cutting board to gently release the oils from the skin. Thinly slice the kumquats across into rounds, discarding any seeds as you go.
Place the mesclun greens in a salad bowl, sprinkle with sliced kumquats and fresh ground pepper to taste. Toss with just enough of the salad dressing to flavor the salad without wilting it. (Dressing makes about 1/3 cup.)
Copyright © 1999, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created May 1999
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