Love and Olive Oil

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

So here I sit, gazing at this pretty picture, remembering all the shiny happy flavors of this dish, and can’t think of a darned thing to say about it.


I can say that.

It sounds dirty. But it’s not. So I can say it.

I’ve never had kumquats before. Sure, I’ve seen them. Wondered about them. And have, until now, been too cheap to buy them.

But when this recipe popped up, and I just so happened to have a bowl of beautiful blood oranges (thanks, BJ!) waiting to be turned into something fabulous, I did my best to ignore the $4.99 per tiny box pricetag and bought them anyway.


Sour little suckers is all I have to say. These bitter little buggers would give sour patch kids a run for their money, without the assistance of palette puckering chemicals and whatever else they throw in the mix.

But paired with the sweet beets and blood oranges, the creamy avocado, and the delicate quinoa, they come together in a medley of flavors that play off of each other so perfectly, balance so beautifully, you will find your lips smiling instead of puckering.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

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1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 teaspoons grated blood orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon or lime rind
2 tablespoons blood orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup blood orange sections, chopped (about 4 medium)
1 cup diced peeled avocado
6 whole kumquats, seeded and sliced
2 medium beets, cooked and cut into wedges


To prepare dressing, combine first 10 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare salad, place quinoa in a fine sieve, and place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Combine 1 3/4 cups water, quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Combine quinoa, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, blood orange sections, avocado, and kumquats in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Add dressing; toss gently to coat salad. Spoon 1 cup salad onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1/2 cup beets.

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  1. This looks so appetizing, fresh, and healthy! I just had quinoa today, but it’s so versatile and I really need to experiment with it some more.

  2. That looks wonderful!!! I’ve got some quinoa sitting in my cupboard and I’m embarrassed that I haven’t figured out what to do with it. This is IT! This has inspired me to finally make some quinoa. I just found your blog from It looks wonderful – I plan to visit often.

  3. It’s my first time here, and I’ve to say that your photography is really breathtaking! The photo of this salad just makes my mouth water! I get kumquats pretty easily where I’m at, so this salad sounds absolutely delicious! Will definitely be coming back for more delicious posts ;p

  4. I adore kumquats! Just made a cocktail out of kumquats. This salad has all of my favorite things all rolled into one beautiful salad. This is on my list of items to make very soon.

  5. What an interesting combination! I love all the citrus notes, and I think they would all pair so well with the quinoa. Plus, what better way to ring in the summer weather than with all these fresh flavors?!

  6. Kumquats are so pretty. This salad combines so many delicious things in one!
    Hey, quick (hopefully) question – how do you create the printable page? Is it a plugin? Thanks in advance!! :)

  7. I’ve never had kumquats before either, and am a little surprised to hear that they’re sour! I would have imagined them being supersweet, like little clementines. I bet they’re a really nice match for the beets in this salad, then. Yum.

    Just stumbled on your blog yesterday, and couldn’t be happier that I did. Lovely photos and wonderful writing — can’t wait to read more!

  8. just stumbled on your blog and im loving it so far! i read the about us section and its soo soo cute!

  9. Pretty ! I love kumquats. And quinoa. And blood orange. : )

  10. I like quinoa, and the mixture between salty and sweet please me well !
    thanks for your recipe

  11. That looks really good. I love (really love) blood oranges. I am looking for an opportunity to use the again, hopefully soon. I’m thinking a broiled whitefish with blood orange Hollandaise.

    George Carlin did a bit once on stuff that sound dirty but isn’t. Kumquats made the list :)

  12. This salad sounds like perfection to me, I love beets sooo much and I have been munching on kumquats lately so combining the two is genius. Beautiful photo, looks colorful and moody all at the same time. :)

  13. What a great salad. Bright, colorful and very healthy

  14. You know, I’ve never had a kumquat either. Maybe now is the time to try. Thanks for the heads up on the sour-factor. :)
    The salad looks gorgeous – love all the colors (and great photo!).


  16. I heart kumquats! Not sure about the beets though… I will need to be super brave one day and try a beet. I hear they are crazy healthy for you! Beautiful post! I love quinoa and am always looking for new ideas!

  17. Ha! Kumquats are nasty little suckers! I was at the farmers market about a year ago when my girlfriend found out I had never had a kumquat. She insisted I try one, right there in front of the farmer. So I went to peel it and then found out that you eat it whole. So already, strike 1 for me. So I popped it in my mouth and holy crap was it bitter. Not to mention I was drinking coffee and citrus & coffee tastes like an atomic bomb going off. so while this looks absolutely stunning, I may have to leave out the Kumquats. :-D

  18. this looks so beautiful. the recipe sounds great too. Funny enough, I just had my first kumquat just a few weeks ago. I couldn’t get past eating through the rind for some reason, so slicing it into a pretty little salad like this, might just be the perfect thing to do.

  19. I love kumquats and have used them in many ways. Did you notice that kumquats are unlike other citrus in that their skin/rind is sweet, and the inside/pulp is very tart? I love that uniqueness about them and introduced my 6-yr. old to them last month (she loved them). They’re also very pretty in a cocktail (um, for me, not my 6-yr. old).

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! It’s got all the ingredients I like.

  20. You mixed all my favorite flavors in this beautiful salad… how can you go wrong with the antioxidants in this salad!

  21. I have a new favorite salad. Seriously. But with goat cheese added. And I make candied kumquats, so I minced a few and tossed them in. To.Die.For. So yummy!!!

  22. Every quinoa salad I’ve ever made has some crazy concoction of ingredients like this one. Looks awesome! I have never had kumquats, either, but I have a recipe to make a marmalade out of them. They probably need a LOT of sugar!

  23. Gorgeous colors! This would be a ray of sunshine on a day like today.

  24. What a wonderful unique blend of ingredients! I love it! Yay, you found something to use for the blood oranges. I’ve never had kumquats before either. I may have to try them.

  25. This salad almost looks too pretty to eat….almost ;)

  26. Oh my gosh, that’s a gorgeous salad, Lindsay! I can’t believe I’ve never tried a kumquat before. No idea what they look like whole, but I’m going to find some this weekend to make this salad.

  27. Love the daring use of kumquats. I was just thinking about making a beet and quinoa salad. Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. I LOVED your description! Kumquats are everywhere where I live, along with avocados so this is a very cheap dish for me. Woohoo! :) Thanks for sharing it, I will be making it soon.
    It was awesome meeting you in person this weekend, I am looking forward to July when we can revamp my site together!

    • You Floridians make me jealous. I envy your citrus!! :) If my suitcase was bigger I would have brought back a whole boatload of it.

  29. What a pretty salad! And kumquat is one of the best words to say ever.

  30. Looks great! I’m going definitely going to follow your site!

  31. Wow, what an original salad – it looks fabulous.
    :-) Mandy

  32. Wow- what a photo! This salad looks amazing and this post cracked me up. ps thanks SO much helping me figure out the domain stuff today…much appreciated :)

  33. The colors in this salad are gorgeous! I can imagine all of those flavors and textures combined make a delightful combination (sour little buggars and all!).

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