Jewel-like kumquats are only in season from January to April. We love to eat them like candy, tender skin and all, with dime-sized slices making great additions to salads and salsas. They also happen to be an amazing ingredient to cook with.
Add a subtle smoky flavor to your kumquats by skewering them with chunks of marinated fish; if you’re grilling steak, chicken, or anything that takes longer than a few minutes to cook, make separate kebabs of kumquats to serve alongside.
When your kumquats are getting a little too ripe, toss them in a blender with a nub of ginger and add the purée to your muffin or cake batter. You can even get fancy and add a few slices to the bottom of your muffin tins for miniature kumquat upside-down cakes.
Slow-roasted pork shoulder, chicken tagine, and Instant Pot braised beef all benefit from the bright citrus pop of kumquats. Halve a cup or two and toss them in. The result is pure magic.
Bring a pound of kumquats to a boil with a cup of honey, ⅓ cup sugar, 1 ¼ cups water, and half a vanilla bean, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes or until the liquid is thick and the little fruits begin to melt. Use the topping for ice cream, cakes, or ricotta-smeared toast.
Slide slices of kumquat and little pads of butter under the skin of a roaster and stuff the cavity with aromatic herbs, garlic, and a few whole kumquats for a sweet take on classic roast chicken. They also make a great addition to stuffed pork loin.