Avocado toast is a food that I just can’t quit.
I know a lot of folks are feeling kind of “over it” lately. It’s achieved Kardashian-level celebrity status, right up there with kimchi, smoothie bowls and those Starbucks Pink Drinks. But to me, avocado toast isn’t just the latest trend. To me, avocado toast is pure comfort food. It’s the food that I eat when I’m stressed and rushed and struggling to find the time to prepare a “real meal”. And it’s the food that I eat when I just don’t feel like eating. Like this past week, when my heart felt heavy and my house seemed unbearably empty. Avocado toast was the only thing that actually tasted really good to me.
Today’s version includes one of my favorite curious little fruits: kumquats. They are in season right now, so keep your eyes peeled for these sweet-sour gems that look just like miniature oranges.
And speaking of peels, you can eat them. Yup. Not need to peel kumquats (thank goodness because that would be a laborious task!). In fact, the peel is actually the sweeter part of the fruit. It’s the center that packs a pucker-inducing punch!
Last year, I made a Spicy Kumquat and Whipped Ricotta Crostini. And a couple of weeks ago, I spotted these gorgeous Kumquat Honeycomb Tartines from Alanna at The Bojon Gourmet. So it’s been on my mind to create a new version of kumquats on toast.
To that end, I asked my Mom for a few kumquats for a recipe and, of course, she brought me an ENTIRE CASE. Not that I was particularly surprised by this. Because my Mom always goes above and beyond the call of duty (it’s one of her most endearing qualities). But a case of kumquats is A LOT to try and get through. So I’ve been making plenty of dishes with kumquats this week (I might just have to share another one soon!), as well as making pickles, marmalades and chutneys.
These quick-pickled kumquats are exactly as they are named: pickled kumquats that can be made very quickly. I start by slicing each kumquat into 3-4 slices. No need to discard the seeds, but I do remove and discard the tiny woody stem that is sometimes found on the end. Then I boil them briefly to soften the peel and take away some of the bitterness. Finally, I combine the kumquat slices with a easy rice vinegar brine and pop them in the refrigerator to chill. Within an hour, they are ready to consume!
If quick-pickles are known as “quickles”, then are quick kumquat pickles known as “kuickles”?
Because I have so many kumquats, I made myself a couple jars of these quick-pickled kumquats. But you can certainly scale the recipe down, if you prefer. The quick-pickled kumquats should last for a week, maybe more, in your refrigerator.
This Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast is just one in which you can enjoy your “kuickles”. Try them on sandwiches, with grilled chicken or fish, or add them to a cheese platter. Or simply eat them straight out of the jar!
For the Pickled Kumquats
- 4 cups kumquat slices
- 1 cup warm water, plus more for boiling the kumquat slices
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
For the Toast
- 1 avocado
- 2 slices of bread, toasted
- Red pepper flakes
- 10-14 slices pickled kumquats
- 1/2 cup pea shoots or sprouts
- Fresh mint leaves
- Maple syrup
- Add the kumquat slices to a medium pan and cover them with about 1-inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the kumquat slices, discarding the cooking liquid. Divide the drained kumquat slices between two jars (or more or less, depending on what size jars you have) with re-sealable lids.
- Stir together the warm water, rice vinegar, maple syrup, salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture into the jar(s) over the kumquat slices, filling the jar(s) to the top. You can discard any leftover liquid. Seal the jar(s) and transfer them to your refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. A longer refrigeration time is okay, too. The quick-pickled kumquats can be stored in your refrigerator for a week, if not longer.
- To make the toast, cut the avocado in half. Remove and discard the seed. Scoop out the flesh and place it on the toasted bread. Mash the avocado flesh down with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Top with some pickled kumquat slices, pea shoots and a few fresh mint leaves. Drizzle with a little maple syrup, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
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