Kumquat Chutney

Kumquat Chutney

Kumquat Chutney

In SoCal, kumquat trees are nearly as common as Queen palms, and though less dramatic, still a wonderful sight. We love their glossy green leaves and blaze orange fruits — super tiny yet packed with flavor. Kumquats are the only citrus you can pick off the tree and eat whole, skin and all. Take a bite, and it’s as if they’ve been turned inside out: the skin is tangy-sweet, and the flesh is puckery and sour.

This chutney makes the most of those flavors. We simmer kumquat slices, dried cranberries, and candied ginger in a concoction that’s more of a thick brine than a sauce: sugar, vinegar, water, and curry spice. Once it cools, we stir in fresh slices of kumquat and a handful of chopped cilantro. The result is full of chewy texture and deeply flavorsome, from the sweet-tart fruits to the subtle warmth of the ginger and curry to the cilantro’s peppery pungency.

Chutney is one of the simplest condiments to make — it’s fueled by your pantry and gains all its depth in the fridge — and it’s also one of the handiest. It’s wonderful paired with any rich meat: think roast duck, rack of lamb, pork chops, or even a ham sandwich. It loves cheese, too, so we’d layer it on grilled cheese sandwiches. Better yet, do as we’ve done here, and put it on a cheeseboard or charcuterie platter. It’ll bring everything from the creamiest brie to the strongest pepperoni into sharper contrast. It’s also pretty tasty all by itself on a slice of golden brown toast with plenty of salty sweet cream butter.

Our tip: make a double batch and leave a jar on the porch of someone you love.

Yield: 12 oz

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

1 tsp curry powder

1 ⅓ cups kumquats, sliced and seeded, divided

2 Tbsp chopped Gelson’s organic fresh cilantro

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, vinegar, water, ginger, cranberries, curry powder, and 1 cup kumquats. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 9 minutes.

  2. Pour the mixture into a small glass bowl and refrigerate until completely cool. Stir in the remaining ⅓ cup kumquats and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Serve after cooled, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe adapted from: Serious Eats

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