Beet and Kumquat Salad

beet and kumquat salad

Beet and Kumquat Salad is my new favorite thing.  It’s so bright and so beautiful; it simply begs to be eaten.  This is also a perfect winter salad, utilizing the zesty citrus and cold storage beets, combining in an unlikely duo for a delectably seasonal way to start your next meal.  This salad really pops on the plate but the fun doesn’t stop there.  It also packs as much fun for the palate as it does on the plate.  There are so many exciting textures in this salad that your mouth will love it as much as your eyes.  The smoky earth of the roasted beet paired classically with creamy goat cheese from my favorite local micro creamery is perfection.  Add to that the crispness and tang of endive tossed with your favorite flavored vinegar, I used blood orange vinegar here, topped with the crunch of fresh matchstick beets and a zing of zest from the kumquats and there is a party in your mouth.  I love kumquats and every year when they come into season I get excited to play with them in the kitchen.  What I love the most about them in this salad is enjoying the skin as well as the juicy flesh; it packs a punch of flavor and nutrients, perfect to keep that end of the season cold away!

This salad is easy and fun to assemble, the only time commitment coming from roasting the beets.  You can buy beets pre-roasted if you are in a pinch or you can do it yourself.  I place mine, skin and all, in tin-foil and roast at 400 for about 45 minutes.  Then remove from the oven and let cool slightly before handling.  You can then peel the skin off with your fingers just like that.  I love the way they bleed onto your fingers staining them with their sweet earthy goodness.  I loved using different types of beets for this salad, the classic Ruby Queens for the roasted portion of this salad and the bright and fantastically colored Chioggia for the raw matchsticks.   “Eat your colors”, words of wisdom from my mother.  Well this salad is sure to make her smile and I hope it makes your taste buds dance!

beet and kumquat salad endive paper thin slices of roasted beet local goat cheese baby kumquats all in a row colorful raw beet beet and kumquat salad

You will need:

  • One roasted beet*
  • One beet cut into matchsticks – I used Chioggia
  • 1 Head of endive – separated and washed
  • ¼ Cup goat cheese
  • 4 Kumquats sliced
  • 1 tablespoon infused vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salt and Pepper

How to:

  • Using a mandoline or sharp chef’s knife, slice roasted beets paper thin and place on plate
  • Crumble goat cheese and arrange kumquats on top of roasted beets
  • Toss endive with vinegar and place on plate
  • Top with matchstick beets
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with mint leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

beet and kumquat salad

To eating the rainbow,

Marcella Rose

beet and kumquat salad

Fourth of July Feast

IMG_1387This fourth of July I wanted to do something different than the traditional BBQ so we invited 8 guests to join us for a 5 course meal in our sweet little yard.  I poured over cookbooks and magazines creating and recreating menus; trying to inject just the perfect amount of red, white and blue into this sit down soiree.  The final menu had just enough class and brass for one enchanting evening underneath the bursting fireworks to celebrate our day of independence.

The Menu

Watermelon Basil Gin Coolers
Chili Popcorn
The Meal
Firecracker Crab with Three Chili Dipping Sauce
Prosciutto and Melon Purses on Field Greens with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Beet Ravioli with Independence Corn Relish
Line Caught Wild Alaskan Halibut in a Whiskey Marinade with Dijon Potato Salad
Blueberry Hand Pies with Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
I set the table simply, with white and silver, wanting the bright colors of the food to really pop, bang and BOOM!  Hanging large flour sack towels on the back back of the chairs for napkins.
Upon arrival guests were greeted with Watermelon Basil Gin Coolers served in old jars and Chili Popcorn oh and of course Dr. Watson our boston terrier.
IMG_1423Once we all sat down we cleaned our hands with cooled lemon water soaked towels and started tearing into Firecracker Alaskan King Crab Legs dipped into a spicy Three Chili Sauce.  The sauce was a play on my grandmothers recipe for crab dipping sauce; dijon, horseradish, lemon, mayo,  and a dash of ketchup; I added three different chili sauces to spice it up.  I served them in galvanized buckets full of ice; their legs looking like the trails of  bursting light from a firecracker .
For the next course, I wrapped up melon with paper thin prosciutto tying up these little purses with a chive and serving them with some organic field greens and a dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper and artisan grapefruit vinegar that was purchased on a trip to Santa Cruz for my little sister Nathalia’s, founder and owner of Creatively Conscious, Birthday.
Next, I plated up a recipe I altered from Tom Douglas, who altered it from the great Marcella Hazen; cold beet ravioli pared with a delicious corn relish recipe from my talented photographer sister Bianca Sciotto,  It was a bold choice but it was a hit! The relish paired very well with the beets and the corn gave a hint of the traditional grilled corn of the holiday.
Our main course, Fresh Line-caught Alaskan Halibut that my husband Matt and I caught ourselves on our recent trip to Homer Alaska, the “Halibut Capital of the World”.  These filets are so fresh, so thick, so white… I was so excited to get creative cooking them up.  I let them sit all day in a whisky marinade and then broiled them to perfection.  I served the halibut on very simple, very light, red potato salad with my favorite broccoli sprouts on the side.  Delish!
Finally for dessert the smallest of blueberry hand pies.  I slipped them into homemade wax paper bags to bring back memories of the good ol’ days and served them with little galvanized buckets of dish-yourself, slow churned, vanilla ice cream.
The night was truly perfect, with a nice cool breeze, good friends, wonderful conversation, and a memorable, different meal that won’t fade into the fourth of July BBQ’s of years past.

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