This salad, with all its exotic nuances, is entirely refreshing to the palate. The baby kale has a wonderful texture that stands up to the bold cayenne-spiked vinaigrette. The carrots have a bit of crunch, too — but also a lovely sweetness to them. The kumquats, on the other hand, are deliciously zesty, while the sesame seeds are delicately nutty, as well as visually appealing.
*Note: If you can't find baby kale, you can use regular kale for this salad. Tear the leaves into 3-inch pieces and discard the tough stems. Baby spinach, arugula, or tatsoi are also good substitutes.
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor and process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
Slice the carrots lengthwise with a vegetable hand peeler to form ribbons. Set aside. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 2/3 of the vinaigrette. Toss until well coated.
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the black sesame seeds and cook until fragrant, tossing frequently and taking care not to burn them, for 3 minutes. (If cooking with regular sesame seeds, cook until the seeds are golden.)
Divide the kale among 4 plates or salad bowls. Dot with the kumquats. Top each salad with a small mound of the carrot ribbons. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and top with the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.