This is so simply a play on the ubiquitous preserved lemons. those same preserved lemons that i rinse, chop, and throw on everything with either a grain, green or bean all winter. yes, the ones that everyone does with just salt, but my favorite version has a bit more oomph than that. of course.
Feeling a bit oomph deprived lately, and having just gotten my paws on 10 lbs of the most wonderful kumquats i think i’ve ever tasted. i’ve come up with this:
Salt & pepper preserved kumquats
2 pounds kumquats (preferably organic)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, ground
3 whole cloves, ground
scant 1/2 cup sea salt
1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar (i use raw)
juice of 3 meyer lemons (or regular lemons)
1.5 liter or half gallon jar
1. make sure kumquats are clean and completely dry. slice the little button off the end and cut in half lengthwise. no need to discard the seeds, you can eat them!
2. in a bowl mix together the halved kumquats, ground pepper and cloves, salt and sugar. stir until the kumquats are well coated with the salt and spice.
3. place kumquats in jar, pour lemon juice over and cap the jar.
4. store at room temperature, shake once a day for 10 days to 2 weeks, or until they reach the desired softness. be sure not to let them get too soft – you want them to have a bit of heft between the teeth. once you’ve determined them done, stick them in the fridge where they can last for a year or more.
to use: lift out desired amount with a clean, dry spoon and rinse under cold water. chop, or serve whole and use just as you would preserved lemon; over all manner of grain, green or bean dishes.