kumquats and beets

i had wanted to use as so often before blood orange or pink grapefruit sections with the roast beets, but it was stephanie’s idea, looking out on the terrace, to her beautiful kumquat standard.

the sweetness of oven roasted beets offset by the crisp fragrance of kumquats makes for a delicious meal, especially now, during those dreary january days. fresh kumquats are plentiful these days, whether from your own tree or the bin of your grocer. the fruit should feel portly plump and firm to the touch and give that instant tart crunch sending shivers down your spine. don’t bother with the limp stuff, as it will purse an shrivel during cooking like grapes turning to raisins.

the beets slow roast in a 325 oven. quick-cook a hand full of kumquats together with some thinly sliced shallots in olive oil. the shallots should stay bright, just slightly mellow. a gentle tarragon mayonnaise for the dressing, combining bite sized beets with the kumquat mix. serve warm.