Kumquats + the Joys of Eating Seasonally



One of my favorite things about eating seasonally is the anticipation of waiting for my favorite fruits and vegetables to show up at the farmers’ market.  There’s nothing quite like that first encounter…. strolling through the market, perusing the different stalls, and then all of a sudden you see it…. that first bunch of bright green asparagus or basket of succulent strawberries.  Finally, the (insert favorite produce item here) have arrived!

Following the cold and dark days of winter, spring is an especially exciting season at the market.  All kinds of juicy fruits, tender greens, and an abundance of fresh eggs start making regular appearances.  One of my current favorites are the tiny but brilliantly bright orange kumquats.

Kumquats are, in my opinion, sorely under-appreciated.  These little guys really pack a punch, both in terms of flavor and nutrition.  Kumquats, unlike most citrus, can be eaten whole.  The rind contains all kinds of powerful essential oils, such as cancer-fighting limonene.  And kumquats are a great source of immune-boosting Vitamin C, as well as other anti-oxidants, B Vitamins, and fiber.

These little gems have a bright, often tart flavor, adding a welcome flavor burst to any dish.  While I’ve been known to just pop them straight into my mouth, I also love adding them to salads (think arugula, avocado, and shaved purple carrots) or making kumquat salsa (served atop baked fish or tacos).

Next time you see kumquats at the market, snag a few and try this simple recipe. Enjoy!

Kumquat Salsakumquat salsa over fish and arugula

1/2 lb kumquats, roughly chopped

1/2 medium red onion, small dice

1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

1/2 lime, juiced and zested

sea salt, to taste

Combine the kumquats, onion, herbs, jalapeno (if using), and lime zest in a bowl.  Mix well, adding lime juice and salt to taste.

Recipe by Kasey Caletti, Natural Chef