Food blogging is largely about pictures and recipes. But somewhere between a gorgeous photo and a tasty recipe, real life can fall by the wayside. Inspired by this conversation about motherhood, and this one on food photos, I’m taking the challenge and am going to try to keep things real around here, and perhaps even start to document the swirling chaos and full sink of dishes that accompanies each recipe.
Of course, from house fires, to babies, to losing our dog, I’ve hardly held back; I just want to renew my effort to balance out the lacy leaves of watercress with the stuff of real life. So what’s up these days? We’re exhausted. Whether seasonal sniffles, a still-waking-twice-a-night baby, feeding two kids with no dishwasher, the endless piles of laundry, or our beloved but ramshackle third-floor walk up–it’s all starting to get to Brian and me. To counter the day-to-day drudgery, we’ve been planning an exciting summer complete with a real vacation and a trip to the west coast (sans kids–hello!). On the home front I’ve been craving colorful vegetables and healthy meals, and planning an awesome garden.
With healthier eating in mind, I picked up a few kumquats last week and was determined to figure them out. Have you ever had one? They’re tiny citrus-y fruits that have a bold sour flavor and plenty of citrus bite. Since I was feeling the need to cleanse, a salad was a great choice. First, I made a tangy, creamy kumquat salad dressing using my blender. Then, I threw a few sliced kumquats and avocados, beet greens, and watercress together for a really fantastic salad that was at once bitter, bracing, and creamy. Though I had this for a quiet lunch, it’s really too good not to share–I suggest you make this for your next party or fancy dinner.
Watercress Salad with Kumquat Dressing
for the dressing
1/2 cup kumquats, rinsed and small stem removed
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup water, or more if needed
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
Combine the kumquats and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. With blender running, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, sea salt, pepper, and sriracha. Scrape down the sides and check consistency–add more water if needed. Taste for salt and acid levels and adjust accordingly.
for the salad
1 lb. watercress, with any large stems removed
2 cups beet greens, torn
1/2 cup kumquats, sliced thin and seeded
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground pepper
red pepper flakes
In a large bowl, toss the watercress and beet greens with the dressing. Layer on the slices of avocado and kumquat. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with another few tablespoons of dressing and serve.
Any leftover dressing should keep well in the fridge for a few days.