3 Seasonal Recipes to Try This Week: Kumquats, Asparagus, Fava Beans


During a recent dinner at my friend’s underground restaurant (shh!) we were presented with the most inventive use of kumquats I’d ever seen. They were sort of glazed and roasted, and served atop a seared duck breast.

The kumquats were so luscious and such a perfect foil for the rich duck that I was smitten. The flavor has been haunting me ever since.

My reaction was interesting because I tend to shy away from kumquats, as I’m not really sure what to do with them. I’m attracted to their cute, happy orangeness at the farmers’ market, but since I’m not really a lover of the flavor of citrus rind, when it comes to everyday snacking they tend to just sit there and shame me for not eating them.

Then I found this recipe from food writer Molly Watson. Now wouldn’t these be good with duck, or pork, or dessert for that matter? Try it and let me know. There should be kumquats at markets (at least here on the west coast) for another week or two.

Speaking of seasonal recipes, I can’t get enough asparagus. I tend to spend the first several weeks just roasting it in a super hot oven with salt and olive oil (and sometimes standing in the kitchen eating the spears one after another like French fries) before graduating to more complex (and civilized) preparations like this one from 101 Cookbooks with the super healthy grain quinoa.

If you’ve never tried fava beans, this is your year. They are a short season shelling bean just coming into markets now. Yes, you have to shell them in two steps but it’s worth it. And this dip from Simply Recipes sounds like a winner.

P.S: Favas are easy to grow and provide a wonderful “green manure” for your garden because they are excellent nitrogen fixers. The leaves are edible too!

Image: Miss Meister

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.