Apparently I’ve been craving a little color lately. I recently bought a couple of brightly colored sweaters (orange and electric blue). I just replaced my everyday-lipstick with a few colors that have a bit more pizzazz. Yep, I just need to see a bit more color this time of year. The dull gray skies and monotonous white snow just don’t do it for me by late January. So…this colorful salad fits the bill perfectly. And aside from the visual beauty, this one is delicious. I could eat it every day. Actually, I pretty much did for month straight last year.
Let’s start with the red cabbage. I rely on it a lot during winter. It tastes great, works both hot or cold, and it can hang out it your refrigerator for a while. This last reason is important, because if you don’t happen to want to eat a salad every day, this ingredient will be waiting for you. Tuscan kale is another great ingredient. It’s perfect in soups or massaged and made into a simple salad. Red peppers were on sale at our co-op the other day, so I bought a few of those too. My kids love to snack on them all summer long, but they go through withdrawal in winter. They were probably happier than I was when I brought them home.
Finally, I present to you the kumquats. They have such a fresh, powerful citrus flavor. Take a look at this kumquat marmalade that I shared here a while back. Kumquats always remind me of sunshine, which is obviously just what I need right now. They’re sweet, tangy, and so fragrant. I love them thinly sliced and tossed into salads– no need to peel them. Just remove the few tiny seeds that will be inside. In this recipe, I blend them up (peel too) into a delicious vinaigrette that goes perfectly with any winter salad. I also add a touch of honey to it to bring out the sweetness a bit more. It’s a bit on the thick side for a vinaigrette, because the acidic component (the kumquats) is blended whole– but I think it’s absolutely lovely and the hearty winter vegetables work well with it. The almonds are the perfect finishing touch to the salad. I hope you give this little salad a try if you need to brighten up your day– I bet it will. Enjoy!
The Recipe: Winter Salad with a Kumquat Vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette:
10 kumquats, cut and seeded (leave the peel on)
1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot, white, or red onion
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad:
About half of a small red cabbage, cored and finely sliced
handful of Tuscan kale (6-7 stalks) stems removed and thinly sliced into ribbons OR a handful of fresh spinach
1/2 red pepper, julienned
handful of almonds, coarsely chopped
3-4 kumquats, seeded and thinly sliced
To make the vinaigrette, place the kumquats into a small food processor and pulse a few times until they are finely chopped. Add the shallot, honey, and salt. Pulse a few more times until nearly smooth. Add the olive oil and blend. This vinaigrette will remain somewhat thick. Adjust salt, if necessary.
It’s best to place your salad ingredients (sans almonds and kumquats) into a bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top of them. Toss to coat. Plate the salads and top with the almonds and kumquats. Leftover vinaigrette can be stored covered in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before using. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today! Have a wonderful weekend.