So I’ve been trying to do this crazy, wacky, totally wild thing lately. It’s called “eating healthy.”
I know. It’s bizarre.
Being surrounded by butter and chocolate and cookies every day at school doesn’t make it any easier. There are definitely days that I’m so busy at school I give in and have a cookie and 249 ounces of water for lunch. It totes happens. And I’m okay with it.
Cookies are delicious, and no one should be denied their tasty, life-altering magical goodness. But sadly, I cannot subsist on cookies alone. I mean, I can. I did for a while. It wasn’t pretty. I don’t recommend it.
That’s why I like to mix it up a bit and have salads for lunch these days. Did you know that salads are actually pretty delicious? It’s a scientific fact. And you can’t argue with science, guys.
So making your own dressings and vinaigrettes is crazy simple. And fun! You could torture yourself and do it by hand, or you can pour a bunch of things into a blender or food processor and push a button. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.
Have you ever had a kumquat? Holy deer antlers, kumquats are delicious. I mean that, you guys. You need to procure some kumquats, post-haste. They’re tart-sweet tangerine-hued tiny gems from the heavens. They look like teeny tiny oblong oranges! They’re almost too adorable to eat!
Do you know what I love the most about kumquats, and more specifically this kumquat vinaigrette? There’s no chopping, peeling, zesting, de-seeding or any other actual “work.” Wash ‘em, dry ‘em off, throw ‘em in the blender and pulverize them to bits. Add some delicious flavors, like orange champagne vinegar, honey, kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle in some good-quality olive oil, toss in a handful of poppy seeds and in a matter of seconds you have a thick, luscious, creamy and undeniably delicious homemade vinaigrette.
Amazing! It’s almost magical how quickly a vinaigrette comes together, especially when you let technology be your BFF in the kitchen and help you by doing all the hard work for you. Isn’t technology nice?
This kumquat vinaigrette is wonderfully versatile, too! Drizzle some of this vinaigrette atop freshly roasted/steamed/sauteed asparagus or leeks. Do it. Your life will change in amazing ways.
Are you a fan of things like cold pasta salads? Tabbouleh? Couscous? Add a splash of kumquat vinaigrette to any of these dishes for a great pop of flavor and brightness.
This vinaigrette is also delicious as a salad dressing. Shocking, right?
My favorite salad combination right now is as follows:
Bibb lettuce + fresh sliced strawberries + almonds + kumquat vinaigrette. SO GOOD.
You could add some thinly sliced red onion to the above salad, too. Maybe some goat cheese? Perhaps swap out the almonds for pistachios?
See what I mean? This kumquat vinaigrette is versatile, light and sunny. It’s a game changer.
I feel like that sounds like the teaser for a movie poster or something.
…And I just officially became the dorkiest food blogger in the universe. Yup. That just happened.
kumquat poppyseed vinaigrette
Yield: 1 1/2 cups vinaigrette
Prep Time: 5 minutes
15 whole kumquats, washed, scrubbed and dried clean
1/4 cup orange champagne vinegar (if you can't find this, no worries! just substitute regular champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
combine the kumquats, vinegar, salt, pepper and honey in a blender or food processor. process on low until the kumquats are completely pulverized and the mixture is a pale orange color, about 30 seconds or so.
turn the mixer or food processor on low speed and remove the small opening in the top of the lid. slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a steady stream.
after the olive oil is incorporated, allow the vinaigrette to mix for another 30 seconds or so in the blender or food processor. this will help incorporate a lot of air into the dressing and make for a thick, creamy finished product. yum!
turn the blender or food processor off, and using a spatula or a spoon, stir in the poppyseeds. give the vinaigrette a taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
pour the vinaigrette into a mason jar or other glass container with an airtight lid, and transfer to the fridge to store.
the kumquat vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for up to one month. just give it a good shake before using!
a food + words original