I’m infatuated with radishes. They have such physical beauty…their day-glo colors, their flouncy tops, the wisp of soil on their roots.
But when it comes to using them in cooking, radishes get sold short, I think.
As terrific as they are with butter and salt, radishes deserve more credit–and creativity. Especially right now, when they’re abundant and sweet. Before summer’s heat accentuates their sharp peppery bite.
At the farmers market I grabbed the last two bundles of round radishes in magenta and purple from Backyard Gardens. Beth also had fat overwintered scallions for sale.
Both perfect for this shaved salad with tamari, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil I had in mind.
The radish tops were so squeaky fresh, I used them as a base for the salad. These greens have a sandpapery texture that may surprise you. It mellows when tossed with olive oil and sea salt.
Radish tops are a stand in for arugula on their own or in a tossed salad, too, so use them when they’re as lovely as this!
Sprinkled with furikake, this crunchy umami spring salad celebrates the humble radish. Imagine what it would look with some of the flashier varieties, like watermelon radish.
Both stunning and sustaining.And easy for entertaining this spring.
Shaved Radish Salad with Scallions & Sesame
This salad is a celebration of spring and abundant radishes. Shave them with a Japanese mandolin or a sharp knife for the best texture. This salad is also excellent with salad turnips in combination with the radishes or on their own. Serve it as a light lunch or alongside grilled salmon.
- 2 bunches radishes with their tops, well scrubbed
- 3 scallions, very thinly sliced on an angle
- 1 tablespoon tamari, shoyu or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Trim the radishes, reserving the freshest green tops. Scrub them and slice them very thin with a Japanese mandolin or a sharp knife. Transfer to a bowl with the scallions.
Combine the tamari, vinegar and sesame oil in a small jar with a lid and shake to combine. Toss the dressing with the radishes, combining well and separating the radishes slices with your hands to coat them well.
Arrange the reserved greens on a platter, top with the radish salad and a generous sprinkling of furikake.
This salad is most crisp when freshly made. But you can also make it in advance and let the radishes steep and soften in the dressing for a different texture altogether.