I apologize for the lack of a Sunday dinner post this past week, but it was one of those Sundays where I did not have a recipe to share. One where I either didn't have a photo or I was trying a new recipe. This salad would be an example of the latter. I was looking for a mixed green salad that would be suitable for the current season.
The star ingredient in this salad is the kumquat. What is a kumquat? It is a citrus fruit that is about the size of a large olive. Unlike an orange, the skin is sweet and the flesh (what little there is) is slightly sour. When both are eaten, it lends a very refreshing flavor to the palate. To soften the skins of the kumquats, they are macerated in the vinaigrette before tossing. To balance the tanginess of the fruit, thinly sliced red onion and toasted pecans are added. I also added a good handful of dried red cranberries for more sweetness and texture. The dressing is a simple white wine vinaigrette that can be made up to one day in advance (always a bonus).
Full of color, seasonal ingredients, texture, and full of flavor, this salad hit all the points I was looking for.
Mixed Salad with Kumquats and Pecans
6 Tablespoons neutral oil, like Safflower or Canola
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of granulated sugar
10 fresh kumquats, thinly sliced into rounds, pits removed
1 cup whole pecans
4 heads Bibb lettuce, washed, rinsed and torn into pieces
1 (5-ounce) container of mixed greens
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 cup dried cranberries
In a small container or jar, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cover and shake well. (The dressing can be made up to 1 day ahead.) Add the kumquats to the dressing and shake to coat; set aside to macerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop the nuts into smaller pieces.
Just before serving, combine the lettuces, greens, sliced onion, pecans, and cranberries in a large bowl. Remove the garlic clove from the dressing, shake well, and pour it over the salad. Toss well to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from The Best of Food & Wine: The Holiday Collection, 1992