Over the last few years my dad has planted a number of wonderfully ornate kumquat trees, and it got me thinking of what else you can do with them, apart from a pretty smashing marmalade. If you haven’t eaten kumquats before, it may seem a little odd that you are primarily eating citrus peel, but this is actually the sweet bit, and the flesh itself is quite tart.
So apart from looking adorable (and making tasty marmalade), kumquats can be sliced up thinly and added to salads to give a sucker-punching zing. Something like this, added to the classic combination of beetroot and feta (sweet and creamy) gives you a pretty darn tasty plate full of goodness.
Unfortunately I live in a household where beetroot is not appreciated (i.e. hated with venom), but every time I can get my hands on some kumquats, I always have to make this salad for myself (most likely lunch).
I have found that when you live with someone who has a list of foods they strongly dislike, it becomes a treat being able to eat them when you have an evening of cooking for yourself. Beetroot is definitely one of those foods for me. Does anyone else feel this way about particular foods that those you live with refuse to eat?
Anyway – back to the salad – yes, you do need to roast (or boil) your beets, AND cook the quinoa, but the rest of it is just chopping and throwing into a bowl. As this is a grain based salad, it does keep pretty well in the fridge for a day or two, you may just need to spruce it up with a little extra dressing.
Beetroot and Kumquat Salad with Quinoa
For the salad
- 1 large beetroot (or 2 medium)
- 6 kumquats
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- Handful parsley
- Handful chives
- Crumbled feta to serve
For the dressing
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Top and tail your beetroot and wrap in aluminium foil. Place in the oven for 45-60 minutes. The beetroot is done when you can slide a sharp knife into it like it's butter.
- Place your quinoa in a sieve and rinse well under running water. Tip into a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and place a lid on the saucepan for a few minutes.
- In a small jar add all of the dressing ingredients and shake to combine.
- Thinly slice up the kumquats (removing any seeds as you go) and add to a large bowl. Roughly chop up the parsley and snip up the chives and add both to the bowl as well.
- Once the quinoa has finished, fluff up with a fork and then add to the bowl with the kumquats. Pour over the dressing and stir everything well.
- Once the beetroot is cooked remove from oven and open the foil. Once it is cool enough to handle use a knife to cut off the remaining skin and then chop the flesh into cubes (2cm-ish). Add this to the bowl and give a gentle stir.
- Plate up, crumble chunks of feta over the top and dig in!