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Kale Sprout and Kumquat Slaw {vegan}

Ready for a new twist on coleslaw? Try this colorful kale sprout and kumquat slaw–tiny tart orange kumquat slices and shreds of purple-tinged kale sprouts with a sweet and sour vinaigrette. Kale sprouts are a cross between red Russian kale and Brussels sprouts; they look like thumb-size cabbage heads branching miniature frilly kale leaves.

Kale Sprout and Kumquat Slaw

As a pastry chef, I used to think of kumquats as cute citrusy dessert deco, or the makings of marmalade; it never occurred to me to feature the fruit’s tangy and sweet qualities in anything else. That is, until I savored kumquat’s bright color and flavor in Becky’s salad. Thanks Becky for showing me the greens and kumquat way.

kumquat slices

Melissa’s Produce sent me both kale sprouts and kumquats to try. I’m happy to report the two unusual fresh ingredients accent each other in the zestiest way. Shredded peppery kale sprouts massaged with lemon and salt, in a dressing of maple syrup and dates, tossed with crunchy roasted pistachios and sliced orange kumquats—ahhhhh—kale sprout and kumquat slaw.

kale sprouts in colander

Kale sprout and kumquat  slaw notes:

  • If you don’t have kale sprouts, replace with thin chiffonade kale ribbons or finely chopped broccoli.
  • If kumquats are not available, substitute orange or grapefruit sections. Candied orange zest is nice too.
  • Instead of making slaw, toss kale sprouts with olive oil and salt and roast at 400°F 10 to 15 minutes. The leaves crisp up like kale chips and the tougher stems become tender to the bite. Delicious!
  • Eat kumquats whole. Pop one into your mouth as a snack; the edible sweet outer rind balances the very tart fruit inside.
  • Look for kale sprouts at Trader Joe’s. Kale sprouts are sometimes sold as Kalettes–ask your produce vendor.

Kale Sprout and Kumquat Salad

Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought produce and had it go bad before you got around to using it. OXO, the company that brings us Good Grips easy-to-hold kitchen tools, has a new system for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh–GreenSaver Produce Keepers. OXO sent me a couple of their containers to test with the kale sprouts and kumquats.

Kumquats in OXO GreenSavers

Right away I filled one produce keeper basket with strawberries and dropped it in the outer box with the activated charcoal filter. For comparison, I stored another pint of strawberries in a paper towel-lined shallow pan, stem side down, covered with loosely with a plastic bag. Knowing that the real trick is to get the berries out of their original packaging, I was a doubter, so I was surprised to see that the berries in the OXO system held up longer, with fewer spots working towards mold.

I’ve only lost a few kumquats to spoilage and I expect they’ll last another month stored in the keepers. The little kale sprout leaves gradually turned yellow, both in the OXO keepers and in the plastic bag where I stored the rest of the kale sprouts.

*This*: OXO sells another produce-keeping option >>> GreenSaver Crisper Inserts mount on the side of your refrigerator’s crisper drawer and house the same ethylene gas-absorbing filter that goes with the individual produce keepers.

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I received sample GreenSavers from OXO and sample kumquats and kale sprouts from Melissa’s Produce. My opinions about the products are my own—not influenced by OXO or Melissa’s. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen.

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Kale Sprout and Kumquat Slaw
Colorful bits of orange, green and light purple shine in this coleslaw dressed all sweet and tangy with maple syrup and lemon juice. Pistachios (or any lightly toasted nuts) add pleasant crunch.
Author: Letty Flatt
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces kale sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Real Salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 Medjool date , chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 or 5 kumquats , thinly sliced, seeds discarded
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup lightly roasted pistachios
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim the kale sprouts. Tear the leaves away from the stalks. Slice the leaves into thin ribbons (1/8-inch). Use the grating attachment of a food processor to chop the tougher stems into tiny pieces.
  2. Mix the kale sprout leaves and stems in a bowl. Massage with lemon juice and salt using your hands. Set aside for 10 to 20 minutes. (see note)
  3. Meanwhile, mix the olive oil with the maple syrup. Using a fork, mash in the chopped date until is evenly dispersed. Stir in the red onion. Set aside.
  4. To serve, toss the sprouts with the olive oil and maple dressing, kumquats and pistachios. Season generously with freshly ground pepper. Taste and add salt if you think it's needed.
Recipe Notes

A short lemon and salt massage transforms kale from rough chew to a pliant tender bite. All kale salads like a good massage.

7 comments

  • YUMTASTIC on this slaw! I have some kumquats in the back yard….I know what will happen to them tonight. Reply · 27 May, 2015

    • Letty

      Ahh the benefits of living in a Mediterranean climate. As a young girl my sisters and I waged kumquat fights–wasting the bounty from my grandmother’s tree. I didn’t eat the avocados from our own trees either. Now that I love both avos and kumquats I live in the mountains! Reply · 27 May, 2015

  • Kumquat Slaw. It’s even fun to say. Looks beautiful too. GREG Reply · 29 May, 2015

  • I am often looking for a way to use kumquats! We have 4 trees! Reply · 1 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Tammy, I made a delicious kumquat smoothie with water, yogurt and vanilla and named it Orange Julianna! Reply · 2 June, 2015

  • I love this recipe! AND I’m loving your site. I’m so glad we met at Indulge PDX this past weekend. Reply · 4 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Bonnie. Great to meet you and share the decadent wonderful SouthPark Seafood dinner! Reply · 5 June, 2015

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