This week our Fall CSA features the watermelon radish, a favorite of some of our veteran members and a bit of mystery to new folks (and sometimes still to me!).
In the Perkins’ family, we usually eat this beauty sliced and roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper OR sliced thin with a sprinkling of good salt.
While these methods are satisfying both in flavor and cooking ease, we wondered–What else can be done with the watermelon radish?
Looking through recipes, we most commonly found ideas for the watermelon radish as a beautiful garnish (thin slices atop a salad) or a quick pickle. For more in-depth info, I turned to the radish section in Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy, where I found the perfect idea for using a combination of fall veggies, straight from this week’s CSA share.
My next steps involved 1) modifying Madison’s recipe based on what I had in the house and 2) applying the principles in Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (like tasting fearlessly and often after adding lemon juice and salt).
I ended up with a clean, bright salad that you too can easily modify based on what’s in your kitchen and what your taste buds are desiring. We paired this with a creamy carrot soup and cheesy bread for dinner, and the salad’s simple flavors worked perfectly as a relief.
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- 1 medium watermelon radish
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 Tbsp chives, chopped (about 8 chives)
- 1 1/4 cup salad greens, microgreens, and/or tender radish tops
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (enough to lightly coat the leaves)
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 oz Manchego cheese, grated
- Maldon sea salt
- If the radishes have greens, trim the greens and set aside the most tender radish greens.
- Trim the ends of the watermelon radish and carrots.
- Thinly slice the radishes and carrots into matchsticks with a sharp knife.
- Put the matchsticks in a bowl. Add the chives and 1 cup greens.
- Using your hands, gently toss the vegetables and greens with the olive oil until vegetables are well-coated.
- Add the lemon juice and toss gently with your hands. Taste and add lemon juice if needed.
- Season with salt and pepper. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Place the salad on a platter. Top with grated Manchego, reserved greens, and Maldon sea salt.
- Modify according to what you have on hand (e.g. turnips or salad radish for roots; salad kale, arugula, or salad spinach for greens; Parmesan or Gruyere for cheese).