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Kumquat and Spinach Salad with Miso Dressing

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Easy but takes some time
Kumquat spinach salad with Miso dressing | Something New For Dinner This spinach salad is inspired by my one of my childhood favorite fruits - kumquats. As a kid I marveled that you could eat the kumquat skin and that the skin was actually sweeter than the inside fruit. As an adult I still love kumquats and now have two prolific kumquat trees. When the fruit is in season I have boatloads of kumquats and have to get creative to find ways to use them all.

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Kumquat Cocktails

Mezcandalosa mezcal cocktail with Kumquats, mint & rosemary | Something New For Dinner Cocktails are an easy choice when deciding out what to do with kumquats as this fragrant citrus loves gin, tequila, vodka and mezcal. You might want to check out my Kumquat Gin & Tonic, my Blood Orange, Gin & Aperol Sangria, and my most recent and very delicious Mezcandalosa Mezcal Cocktail with Kumquats, Mint & Rosemary. Kumquats are the star of all three of these cocktail recipes.

How to Make Sugared Kumquats Two Ways

Kumquat spinach salad with Miso dressing | Something New For Dinner
Whole candied kumquats
Kumquats are also very delicious sliced into salads. They are a little tart on their own, but I find if you sweeten them up a bit they make a wonderful sweet-tart addition to many salads. I have two techniques for sweetening the kumquats, one for sweetened sliced kumquats and one for sweetened whole kumquats. Both techniques are included in this recipe. The whole kumquats result in very flavor bombs and the sliced method creates a little more subtlety. Try them both ways to see which type you prefer.
Kumquat spinach salad with Miso dressing | Something New For Dinner
Sliced candied kumquats
Reserve the leftover kumquat-infused syrup and use as a flavored simple syrup when making cocktails. Kumquat simple syrup is delightful in a margarita or gin & tonic.

Miso Dressing Brings this Kumquat & Spinach Salad Together

Kumquat spinach salad with Miso dressing | Something New For Dinner I use the same miso dressing in this kumquat and spinach salad that I use in two other salads: Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Almonds and Miso Dressing and my Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad. This miso dressing is so delicious I can almost drink it. The recipe easily makes enough dressing for two or three salads and will keep in the fridge for a week. You will find all kinds of ways to use this miso dressing for a quick and delicious dinner or lunch. Stonehouse olive oil | Something New For Dinner This miso dressing is also packed with healthy ingredients including miso, ginger, garlic and olive oil. While most miso dressings call for peanut, canola or other neutral, but less healthy oils, I prefer to use a mild, good quality olive oil for its health benefits. My go-to olive oil that I buy in 3-liter containers is Stonehouse olive oil. I use both their House Blend and Olio Santo for this miso dressing.
Note: I do not have a financial relationship with Stonehouse, I just love their products and have been using them for years as my go-to olive oil.

Kumquat & Spinach Salad with Miso Dressing

Kumquats give this spinach salad an unexpected flavor pop and the miso dressing adds delicious umami to create a healthy and addictive salad.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Cuisine: New American, Asian



For sweetened kumquats:


Sliced method

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sliced kumquats (slice each kumquat into 35 slices, depending on size of kumquat)

Whole method

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups whole kumquats

For dressing:

  • 2” peeled piece of ginger, sliced into 4 pieces
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 T white miso
  • 1/2 c natural rice wine vinegar, not seasoned
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 t toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 t hot Chinese chili oil
  • 3/4 cup mild olive oil such as Stone House House Blend or Olio Santo

For salad:

  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 2 cups shredded poached chicken or rotisserie chicken
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and julienned into thin 2″ strips
  • 4 green onions, sliced diagonally, including green and white parts
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 12 cups sweetened kumquats 
  • 1 handful of torn mint


For sweetened kumquats:

Sliced method

  1. Using a very sharp knife slice the kumquats into thin slices, usually 3 – 5 slices per kumquat, depending on the size of the kumquat. Cut enough kumquats to get 2 cups of slices.
  2. Put one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to medium low and cook sugar water for 5 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and add the kumquats. Allow kumquats to steep in the sugar water for an hour or more. 
  4. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Remove kumquats from the syrup and place on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes until the kumquat slices dry out a bit and just begin to color. Lift the kumquats from the pan and reserve in a covered bowl or jar until ready to use.  Reserve the kumquat infused sugar water and use as simple sugar for cocktails. Can be made a week or two in advance.

Whole method

  1. Pierce each whole kumquat with a fork two times on opposing sides.
  2. Put one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar is dissolved, add the kumquats to the sugar water mixture, return to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to medium-low for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the kumquats to steep in the sugar water for at least 4 hours or over night before using. Kumquats should be stored in the syrup in a covered jar until ready to use.
  3. When ready to use lift the kumquats from the syrup, retaining the kumquat-flavored syrup for another use, such as making cocktails.

For Ginger, Garlic & Miso Dressing:

  1. Put ginger and garlic in a food processor or blender. Whirl to finely mince. Add remaining ingredients and whirl to blend. Dressing can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

For salad: 

  1. Put the spinach in the bottom of a wide, shallow salad bowl or platter. Arrange the chicken, red pepper, green onions, almonds, sweetened kumquats and mint on top of the spinach.
  2. Drizzle with the Ginger, Garlic and Miso dressing and serve.


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