As a brand new mom, I’ve given up on trying to create some elaborate concoction like Durian French Toast with Elderflower Syrup to kick-start my return to this blog (maybe I’ll try creating that when my kid goes off to college?). Instead, I’ve had to start cooking and eating in a way that a newborn allows, i.e. in between diaper changes and feedings, with a baby strapped to my chest (I’ll stay away from flambé for now).
But just because I’m busy and exhausted doesn’t mean I have to settle for peanut butter out of a jar or microwave mac ‘n cheese. My solution? Gourmet toast.
Any time I want to feel like I’m treating myself (which is all the time) I just pop a slice of good bread in the toaster and top it with some sort or luxurious ingredient. Sometimes it’s a creamy, flavorful cheese (the stinkier the better), or a magnificent avocado with a squeeze of Meyer lemon, or a fat slice of heirloom tomato drizzled with olive oil and salt. But in winter, when citrus predominates the markets and CSA boxes, my go-to is to slather walnut levain with mascarpone and top it with mandarinquat slices.
A cross between a mandarin and a kumquat, this little fruit has nailed it when it comes to finding the right balance between sweet and tart. The sweetness is in the ruddy, orange rind while the insides gush with tart juice, so you have to eat the whole thing to get the winning combo. I love to eat them sliced and tossed into salad or layered on a tart. But something about fresh-sliced citrus on toast drives me wild. Especially with a coffee for a late breakfast or afternoon snack.
Grab some sourdough, rye or pumpernickel and go to town. Don’t be stingy with the mascarpone — you’ll appreciate its creaminess against the tart, juicy mandarinquat slices.
By the way, you’ll be able to tell a mandarinquat from a kumquat because the former has darker orange skin, a pointy hat, and is about triple the size. But if you end up with a bag full of kumquats by accident, try pickling them to spice up a salad or cheese plate.
Mandarinquat Mascarpone Toast
- 1 slice fresh bread (such as sourdough, pumpernickel, rye or, my favorite, walnut levain)
- 1-2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1 mandarinquat
Place the slice of bread in the toaster. Meanwhile, slice the mandarinquat into 1/8-inch thick rounds and poke out any seeds with the tip of a knife.
Spread a generous layer of mascarpone cheese on the toast and top with the mandarinquat slices. Enjoy immediately.