Citrusy Carrot & Radish Salad

And now, I will recreate my reaction to my CSA basket delivery this week…

[GROAN!] Radishes AGAIN! Jeez, Louise! I had to give away radishes at work the last two weeks in a row!

I. [angrily open Ziploc bag] Hate. [aggressively pull radishes from basket] Radishes. [shove radishes into bag.]


They are really pretty, though.

And so I was inspired to poke around for a salad recipe that might change my mind about radishes.

My primary complaint, I think, is that despite their lovely jewel tones, radishes taste so much like dirt to me. The trick was to find a combo of flavors that would complement that earthiness and benefit from their crisp texture.

Found one!

Citrusy Carrot & Radish Salad

Note: This makes a pretty large batch and it holds up well in the fridge, thanks to the extra-crispness of the vegetables, so it’s an excellent recipe for potlucks and parties. But it’s also easy to cut in half if you just want it for dinner.

  • 4-6 large carrots

  • 8-10 medium radishes

  • 2-3 medium oranges

  • a handful of fresh mint leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • sea salt, to taste

I cannot tell a lie: like all good salads, this thing requires somewhat tedious prep work, but the results outweigh the annoyance. Put on some good tunes and grab a knife.

Slice the ends off the oranges, then holding an orange over a large bowl to catch the juice, peel the orange, removing the skin and as much as the white pith as possible. Then using the blade of a small paring knife, slice between the membranes to remove just the fruit. When you’re finished sectioning each orange, squeeze the devil out of it to wring out all the remaining juice. (Here’s a how-to video. I think she should do all of that work over a bowl to catch the juice!)


Chop the mint leaves. Here’s a trick: place them in a measuring cup, then shred with kitchen shears. Just hold the shears vertically inside the measuring cup and scissor them open and closed. You get to feel a little like a kitchen maniac AND the leaves are quickly chopped, rather than torn.


To the oranges and juice in the bowl, add the mint leaves, cinnamon, cumin, lemon juice, and a few shakes of salt. Stir to combine, then drizzle in the olive oil while stirring vigorously. Set aside.


Peel the carrots and slice the ends off the radishes. Now you want to slice them very thinly, either on a mandolin, with the slicing blade of your food processor, or by hand. The thinner the better! My food processor has a badass blade attachment that made short work of this step; you could also use a mandoline slicer.


Separate the veggie slices with your fingers and add to the dressing in the bowl. Toss well to evenly coat the vegetables, then allow to sit for 30-60 minutes. Taste and add salt, if necessary. This is great chilled or at room temperature; stores in the fridge for days without getting wilty.

Serving Ideas:
This is a lovely accompaniment to grilled meat, especially Pork Carnitas or Moroccan Grilled Salmon. There’s a nice interplay of textures – crunchy veggies, tender oranges, chewy meat – and the dressing offers a nice contrast between sweetness and acidity. Four days after making this, I tossed leftovers onto a bed of romaine lettuce with some shredded grilled chicken, and it was rad.


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  • Mel says:

    Oh, yum. I’m definitely going to need to make some of those for alongside my pork carnitas! Thanks for the link.

  • Amy says:

    This looks yummy! One of my favorite uses for radishes is to chop them up and add them to tuna and avocado. Gives it a nice crunch, and tastes more interesting than celery. Your new site looks so pretty, BTW!

  • rhonda says:

    I usually HATE radishes….but last night I tried the roasted version in Mark Sisson’s new cookbook (just cut them up, toss in a little oil and season as you wish and roast them for 30min at 475).

    They were FABULOUS – none of that dirty or peppery taste that I hate! They sort of tasted like braised cabbage, I guess….AND they turned a lovely pink color…yum!

  • Mel says:

    Look at how we’re pumping up radishes’ self-esteem with the radish love. Thanks for the added suggestions, ladies!

    And Amy, glad you like the new site!

    • Rose says:

      hahaha i love this post about the csa baskets. now i feel bad about not buying radishes when they were on sale last week..

  • Spence says:

    Yep, this is super tasty! I’m thinking I’ll add jicama next time I make this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mel says:

    Spence –> The addition of jicama is genius. Well-played!

  • Morten says:

    I am thinking about replacing the cumin next time tho (heresy! I know) maybe with sumac?

    • Mel says:

      Now that I’ve dried my tears over the potential removal of cumin, I say this: I think sumac or Zatar would be AWESOME… but if you use either of those, I would eliminate the cinnamon and add a garlic clove.

      If you do modifications, let me know how they turn out!

  • Cindy says:

    This salad is Delicious! We had it tonight with the pork carnitas which were equally delicious!
    Thank you, for your wonderful recipes which have become a staple of our diet. We so appreciate your talents.

  • Suzy says:

    Wow, you could almost make this into a Vietnamese thing by adding that grilled meat you were talking about and some hot beef broth. Good Lord, I’m so glad I found your site! So tasty and inspiring!

    • Mel says:

      YAY! I’m glad you found me, too! Enjoy!

      And thanks for commenting. You’re right — add some shrimp or chicken and you’d be off to the races!

  • Crystal says:

    Made this tonight – delish! Thank you!

  • Nick Mollberg says:

    Damn, that turned out well.

    Swapped the standard mint for egyptian mint/lemonbalm. Delish.

  • Sari says:

    Do you think this would work as well with shredded carrots and radishes? Somehow when I thought of this recipe I remembered them being shredded instead of sliced and I now I can’t get it out of my head…

  • Heather says:

    Seriously…..Every. Single. Thing. I have made from your blog/cookbook is amazing. Not sure how you made radishes and carrots come together to taste like this? All I know is I am standing in my kitchen “tasting” this heaveny salad and I’m not sure there will be enough left to go with the carnitas tonight.

  • DM says:

    See, I run a CSA and this kind of pisses me off. Many customers claim to buy a CSA so they can have access to local vegetables for a lower price than buying them at the farmer’s market. Then they receive the kind of vegetables that grow in our climate in season, and proceed to COMPLAIN? Wow.

    At least you took the time to learn how to like one of your local vegetables instead of giving them away for another week in a row. Points.

    • You know, I think we all just need to be a little patient—with ourselves and others—around eating habits. For most of us of a certain age who grew up in standard American households, we’re used to eating produce out of season because that’s what everyone did. Fruits and veg were/are available all year in the grocery store. Now we know that’s not the healthiest way to eat, and it’s an adjustment. It truly is a learning experience, and a little compassion and grace goes a long way toward making it easier for everyone. How grateful you must be to run a CSA and have the knowledge about and access to healthy food.

  • Hilah says:

    I just made this! I too had a butt load of radishes from my CSA and I was skeptical of the cinnamon at first so I just put a dash but then I added the whole amount because it’s delicious and you’re a genius. XOXO