I have some funny sounding words to throw at you for today’s Market Matters from the Hollywood Farmers Market. Crudo & Kumquat. Yellowtail Crudo With Kumquats & Jalapeño.
You probably know what kumquats are. But do you love them? I bet you do, or at least would if you knew what to do with them. They are one of the lesser known and most misunderstood members of the large and diverse citrus family. The funny thing about a kumquat is it’s most prized for it’s sweet skin. They are mostly enjoyed by simply popping one into your mouth and eating it whole. When you do this you will experience a rush of flavor. They are that intense. Like little flavor bombs. I see kumquats as the “bon-bon” of the citrus world.
I decided these “flavor bombs” deserved some special attention. Especially this time of year in Southern California when kumquats are at their peak. In Googling around for kumquats, I came across the word sitting next to another funny word. Crudo. Which, like sashimi is simply raw fish. Crudo may not be the prettiest sounding name to English speaking ears, but crudo has been music to the tastebuds of Italians for generations. Especially in regions like Puglia and Marche. There, thin slices of raw fish are flavored with whatever ingredients at hand– often in combinations far bolder than you might find at the best sushi bars.
And that’s just how the words kumquat and crudo came to live next to each other on Google. Chef Evan Funke from Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen decided to serve this bold combination at his restaurant, he threw in some pickled jalapeño too. Here’s his adapted recipe using seasonal kumquats and fresh locally caught yellowtail from the Hollywood Farmers Market. GREG
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 T red onion, minced
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1/4 c white wine vinegar
- 1/4 c water
- 8 oz sushi grade yellowtail
- 3 kumquats
- 1 pn fleur de sel, or to taste
- 1 T fresh mint leaves
- 1 wedge fresh lemon juice
- 1 oz extra-virgin olive oil
Slice the jalapeño and place in a bowl. Add the red onion, sprinkle with kosher salt and toss together, then set aside.
In a small sauce pot, combine the vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour pickling liquid over the bowl of chilis and onion. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the fish into 1/4-inch slices and arrange on a plate. Season each slice of fish with a few grains of fleur de sel, to taste.
Slice the kumquats thinly, picking out and discarding any seeds, and place a few on each slice of fish. Add 1 or 2 pickled chilis to each piece of fish, along with a bit of pickled minced onion.
Thinly slice, or chiffonade, the mint by stacking the leaves together, then rolling and slicing crosswise. Sprinkle the mint over the entire dish. Squeeze a wedge of lemon on the fish. Drizzle a fine stream of good olive oil and serve immediately.
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.