because what is life without good food?

Herbed Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

and how the turnips ended up in the Merlot …

Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

So my sister and I were having a glass of Merlot together as I was preparing the salad for dinner on Christmas Eve. I love making salad-scapes so the task of making the salad often falls to me …

I was cutting up a turnip from Dad’s garden to put in the salad and I noticed as I held the turnip slices up to the light, there was a beautiful pattern of lines there. I remarked on that to my sister, who said we should try soaking one in wine because that would bring out the gorgeous pattern in the turnip. She grabbed a slice from my pile of turnip bits and dunked it in her wine, pulling it out after a moment and yes, indeed the lines were more pronounced and the turnip had changed to a lovely purplish tone.

So I said to her that we should soak the turnips in wine for the salad … she said “are you serious?” … and in the wild sweet mood I am in that day, yes, of course I was. So we soaked half the turnips in a small cup of wine. The picture didn’t turn out all that well, but you can see the pattern of lines in the turnip … isn’t that just gorgeous?

Merlot-soaked Turnips

And then we turned to a discussion of salad dressing. I asked if we should do the tahini yogurt dressing again, but my sis wanted something different … A vinaigrette, she said. I didn’t want the same old boring vinaigrette, though, and that’s when she got the idea to use Kumquat juice in the salad dressing.

Now I have not ever had a Kumquat before, but apparently my aunt who lives in Florida had sent Mom and Dad a bag full of kumquats from her tree. My sister had already been experimenting with them before I got here. She told me the way to juice these tart little Kumquats is to roll the little fruit in your hands first, then slice off the top and the juice comes pouring out. She juiced three Kumquats for me and then we went to work finding things to put in the dressing. This is what we ended up with. We were really quite delighted with ourselves.

Herbed Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

  • Juice of 3 kumquats
  • A small spoonful of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • About 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/8 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
  • About 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • About 1 Tablespoon fresh sage and rosemary, chopped fine
  • About 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the kumquat juice, honey, garlic, vinegar, and Merlot till thoroughly mixed.
  2. Whilst whisking the juice mixture, add the olive oil in a thin stream to combine with the juices.
  3. Stir in herbs, salt and pepper.

We served this dressing with a salad of fresh spinach leaves sprinkled with Merlot-soaked turnips, tomato, avocado, shards of fresh Parmesan cheese, and thin slices of Kumquat. It was a delicious and decidedly unique salad. We had spiral-sliced ham and scalloped potatoes as well, but if you were to ask me, I would say the salad stole the show.

Herbed Kumquat Honey Merlot Salad Dressing

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth MondaysRecipe of the Week: Healthy/Low Cal Recipes, KM’s Honey Bloghop and Katherine Martinelli’s Citrus Bloghop.

3 responses

  1. I had to pin this one to Pinterest. I need to remember it! It is such a creative change to my normal dressings.

    December 28, 2011 at 1:38 am

  2. Ann

    It was one of those spur-of-the-moment kind of recipes that turned out really good! Thanks for pinning:)

    December 28, 2011 at 7:49 am

  3. This dressing sounds amazing. I will be making it asap!

    January 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

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