Kumquat and Olive Crostini with Cointreau Caviar and Basil Oil

Been a while since I posted last. Its been a crazy past few weeks but I finally found time to play around and post this.

Kumquats are something I’ve discovered a few years ago and I just love snacking on them. They’re these gorgeous little oranges that have the sweetest rind, no pith and a lovely tangy inside. They make beautiful marmalades and amazing accompaniments to roasted meats. I wanted to do something different with these and I came across Nik Sharma’s Kumquat olive tapenade recipe. It was this spectacular mix of olives, kumquats, Serrano peppers etc .Inspired by this, I played around and came up with my own version of this gorgeous thing. You could always use regular oranges for this recipe, which will give a similar orangey citrusy feel to it. I used this as a topping on a crostini but one could use this as a quenelle on top of a pan fried salmon or some prawns.

I topped this with some cointreau caviar that I made with agar agar powder. These little transparent ones look just like caviar and make a gorgeous garnish. You could do this with any liquid. I finished it off with some basil oil, micro greens and crushed black pepper.

Ingredients

Tapenade

1/4 Cup chopped Kumquats (whole)

1 tbsp Onion (chopped)

1 jalapeno

1/2 cup Kalamata olives

1/2 cup Green olives

2 tbsp Hazelnuts/Pistachios

A handful of Parsley

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cointreau caviar

3/4 Cup Orange Cointreau Liqueur

2-3 g of Agar agar powder

1 Jar of vegetable oil

20CC Syringe

Basil Oil

A handful of Basil leaves

1/2 Cup Olive oil

Slices of toasted sourdough bread

Method

To make the tapenade, deseed the kumquats. Take all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse till you get a coarse paste. Season with salt needed. Add in some black pepper. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. If using regular oranges only use the zest and the pulp, don’t use the white pith.

For the cointreau caviar, take vegetable oil in a tall jar and refrigerate for a few hours till cold. Take the orange cointreau in a pan, heat till it starts to boil, quickly add in the agar agar powder and mix so that no lumps form. See that the liquid has thickened. Take out the jar of oil from the fridge. Fill the syringe with the thickened cointreau mix and remove any air. Use like a dropper and press the piston of the syringe till drops of the liquid start coming out, let them fall straight into the oil. They should solidify in the oil and fall down inside the jar, towards the bottom. Once done, strain the oil out. Give the solidified caviar a light wash with water and refrigerate till use.

For the basil oil, take the leaves of basil and grind them with the olive oil. Let it sit to steep for a few hours in the fridge. Strain till you get a clear green liquid.

Toast slices of sourdough. Spread the tapenade all over in a thick layer. Place slices of kumquats as a garnish, put a spoonful of the cointreau caviar. Finish off with the basil oil, micro greens and some pepper. Smaller versions of these are perfect with a glass of bubbly and as an amuse bouche.

Instead of the toast you could always use a piece of pan fried salmon, or some grilled prawns with a light and fresh fennel salad.

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