Tangy Kumquat Vinaigrette

Fresh Kumquats

Fresh Kumquats

One of the great things about living in Southern California is the
abundance of fresh, locally grown produce.  Sometimes locally grown
literally means your next door neighbor.  My neighbor loves fruit
trees, and has lemon, sweet lime, persimmon, and apple trees in her
yard.  She also has a kumquat tree, and recently it was so full of
fruit the branches were drooping.

I decided I should help that poor little tree, and relieve it of
some of that heavy fruit. With my neighbor’s blessing, the toddler and
I picked a bag full of kumquats.  The toddler had never had one, so I
gave her one to try.  She smelled it, nibbled it, smiled and said
“Nummy Mommy!”  Sounds like an endorsement to me.

Kumquats are eaten whole, as the peel is rather sweet and spicy and
the inside is tart.  You just pop them into your mouth, and enjoy. 
But, what else could I do with them?  I did some online research and
found the website of the Florida Kumquat Growers,
which has a large assortment of recipes.  You can even order the fruit
directly from them during the growing season.  I decided to make some
simple candied kumquats, which are great over ice cream, a slice of chocolate cake or as a dessert garnish.

Having picked so many (I felt really bad for that little tree) I
needed to come up with another recipe to use the kumquats.  I decided
to make a simple vinaigrette dressing, which is a great on salad,
avocado slices and drizzled over grilled chicken or fish.

Tangy Kumquat Vinaigrette

10 kumquats, quartered and seeded

1 TB fennel seeds

1 cup Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar*

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor or blender, pulse the kumquats, fennel seeds and
vinegar until the kumquats are broken down.  Slowly add the olive oil
with the machine running, until the dressing is well mixed.  Add salt
and pepper to taste.

*Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar is available at Trader
Joe’s stores nationwide.  If you do not have a Trader Joe’s near you
(I’m sorry) substitute 1/3 cup orange juice and 3/4 cup champagne


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