Sunday, January 28, 2007

Those Lusty Fruits - WHB

Bigger than a kumquat.

Smaller than an orange.

And pretty sour.

But with lots of flavor. Not quite an orange flavor. Maybe more in the Kumquat direction.

We were just standing around at our farmer’s market. They have a raffle. Which we have never participated in before. But the idea seems to be that everyone who takes a free raffle ticket will absolutely win something. Maybe a small bag of oranges. Or a few select herbs from the herb stand. Or a cinnamon bun. We won a loaf of fresh organic bread – a $4 value. Pretty sweet. Very good bread, too.

And, while standing there waiting for the raffle to work its way through the tickets until ours was called, I noticed these fruits. Bright orange. Sitting in the same crate as the kumquats. Which are also back in season.

Naturally, sucker that I am for new things, I was instantly enamored to them soon as the guy manning the stand told me a little about them.

Orangquats. Had to try some.

Apparently, unlike kumquats, the skin of the orangquats edible but not really intended to be eaten. And they seem to be more sour than a kumquat. But that could just be this batch of them. The kumquats we got from the same stand were more sour than I expected as well.

While we were talking about orangquats, it seemed to me that there is a lot of promiscuous fruit out there now days. Spreading their pollen around like no one’s business. Maybe from watching too many of those explicit food porn shows on the FoodNetwork. Resulting in a lot of unusual cross-breeds. Apparently it was only a matter of time before some kumquat took a stroll through the orange orchard looking to hook up for a booty call.

Well, what to do with all this lusty fruit.

The bold orange flavor, sour though it was, seemed destined to be matched with something hot. Maybe a salsa of sorts, based on the orangquats, with some hot chili pepper, and cilantro. A little red onion. Something like that.

The result was delicious. Somehow, the sour of the orange was mellowed by the fire of the chili pepper and the addition of a little salt. Everything meshed into a very nicely nuanced, balanced flavor that really let this unique orange flavored fruit shine through.

Ideal to set on top of the salmon filet we had bought earlier that day.

The other thing I love together are roasted beets and oranges. We frequently make a stack of roasted beets, orange slices, fennel slices and maybe goat cheese, with an orange thyme vinaigrette on top. Wonderful.

So, with this in mind, we roasted up some baby beets we had on hand. Till they were tender and caramelized. Peeled them, sliced them into sticks, and tossed them in a light dressing of orange, thyme, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Ideally, I would have liked to use the orangquat juice for this dressing as well, but we had used them all up on the salsa, so we used navel oranges here.

For the plate – a bottom layer of some mixed baby greens with the same orange thyme vinaigrette, the roasted beet sticks as a base for the salmon, a piece of the roasted salmon, and then the orangquat salsa spooned on top.

And we ended up with Salmon on Roasted Baby Beets with Orangquat Salsa. For , sponsored this week by Ed, of .

Sounds like a lot, but each element in and of itself was fairly easy. And it made for a wonderfully elegant dinner that was the very essence of orange. A wonderfully subtle aroma, a delicate flavor, a visual delight.

Print Recipe

Orangquat Salsa
Recipe by surfindaave
Makes enough for 6 servings as a condiment

14 orangquats, peel removed (we cut the skin off, as they are hard to peel)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 serano chili pepper, minced very fine
1 small red onion – or half of a large one – minced
salt, pepper
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Additional fresh squeezed orange juice, if necessary

Cut the orangquats into pieces, reserving as much of the juice as possible, and discarding all the seeds.

Place the orangquat pieces, chopped cilantro, minced chili pepper, minced onion and red wine vinegar into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Let sit for an hour to allow flavors to combine. Toss again, taste and season as necessary. Add a few table spoons of additional fresh squeezed orange juice if necessary to achieve a chunky salsa consistency.

Serve as on top of grilled fish or chicken. Enjoy!

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Blogger Ed Charles said...

I've never heard or Orangquats. how weird are they? Our neighbours have a kumquat hedge which means we are overwhelmed by them each year and keep meaning to make marmalade with them. Perhaps we should also try this also. Thaks or taking part in WHB#67.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

You've done it again! Bravo. Another completely uique ingredient no one else has done. Of course the recipe sounds great.

5:32 PM  
Blogger D-man said...

Hello surfindaave: I'm dropping by thanks to callipygia and I am digging what I see so far (I haven't gone too deep yet, but give me a little time). Reading this post made me think of Kalamansi that I recently learned about from a Filipino brother in law and can't wait to get my hands on. I haven't seen either at the Berkeley Farmers Market, but then again, I do recall seeing some awfully big kumquats a few weeks ago.....maybe I'll look harder this weekend. Nice meeting ya, drop by sometime.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

















4:13 AM  
Anonymous Chef Gulzar said...


Great post again!!! nice...........
the recipe sounds great.thanks for sharing this..

James Parker….
Chef Gulzar recipes in Urdu

11:17 PM  
Anonymous contractors said...

great post again ..i really like your site ..

6:49 PM  

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