The beginning of local Famer’s Markets is almost like a cause for celebration in our household. At last – fresh food! Those vibrant shades of green, yellow and red spilling across vendors’ tables almost makes my heart sing. Late April doesn’t bring a huge variety of produce, but you can count on a few early-bloomers, like baby greens and radishes.
Most people will tell you they don’t like radishes. I used to be one of them, until I tasted locally grown, truly fresh radishes. Radishes are a root veggie in the same family as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. You can eat the root or the leaves and people have been doing just that since Roman times. Roots can be white (like daikons) or the more recognizable red, round radish, ranging into shades of pink and dark purple. These amazing plants can sprout in as little as three days. By the way, the sprouts are also spicy and delicious! Give them a try!
The components of this easy salad were put together to compliment new spring radishes. The spring greens add seasonal freshness; the carrots bring a pop of sweet; the cukes are cool and juicy; the toasted almonds lend crunchy warmth. The vinaigrette was also teaked several times to accent the salad and truly flatter the radishes. This vegan, gluten-free recipe will serve four as a salad course or two as a main-dish salad.
Spicy Radish Salad
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
12 radishes, washed and sliced
1 large cucumber, sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 large handfuls of spring greens (lettuces, arugula, spinach, baby kale – your favorite!)
1 handful of radish sprouts
Raspberry & Lime Vinaigrette
6 Tbls. raspberry jam (with or without seeds)
3 Tbl. balsamic vinegar (red or white)
zest of one lime
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
6 Tbl. olive oil
Add slivered or sliced almonds to a dry skillet. Over medium-low heat, toast the almonds. This will only take a few moments and it’s easy to burn them, so don’t walk away! Keep them moving with a spatula or by turning the pan. When they’re done, you can smell them. Slide the nuts onto a plate to cool while you prep the rest of the salad and dressing.
Cutting up veggies for a salad doesn’t have to be a huge chore. We love to use our Oxo mandoline slicer, it was a great wedding gift a decade ago that we get a lot of use from. But you can go the usual route with a knife and cutting board or just toss your carrots, radishes and cukes thru a food processor fitted with a wide-tooth grating disk. Are you a foodie? Try a spiralizer! They’re all the rage lately. Each of these prep methods will result in a different look and mouthfeel to your fresh salads. No matter what you do, be sure to thoroughly rinse all produce and be careful of your fingers around any sharp blades.
To make the vinaigrette, place raspberry jam, vinegar, lime zest, salt and white pepper in a food processor or blender and whip it up. Gradually add in the olive oil, creating an emulsion – which means the oil becomes suspended in the other liquid. If you want to make this by hand, use a bowl and whisk. As above, add the first five ingredients and whisk together, then gradually add the oil to combine. You can double this dressing recipe and store it in the fridge for a few days to use on other salads or cooked veggies/pilafs.
Place all the veggies and almonds into a large salad bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy.
Feeling gourmet? Try creating a composed salad: Place a mound of greens, cukes and radishes lightly on each plate like a cloud of salad, then wrap your carrots around the sprouts and nestle them on top. Sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds and enjoy – after you Instagram of course!
To visit the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl's website, click their byline. To read the rest of their posts on Sister Eden, click their tag at the top of the post.
Latest posts by the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl (see all)
- Verdant Springtime Soup with Cashew-Lavender Drizzle - March 20, 2017
- Mom’s Squash Casserole - July 7, 2016
- Colcannon with Fried Leeks - March 15, 2016