My dad is of Lebanese heritage, and since I was a little girl, I've always been fascinated by belly dancers. The costumes! The finer cymbals!...Read More
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.
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.
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.