Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Watermelon radish salad recipe

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I'm a huge fan of unusual vegetables. When I discovered watermelon radishes at the Santa Monica farmers' market a few years ago, I was blown away. From the outside they didn't look like much - pale green, about the size of a tennis ball - but inside, oh! that gorgeous magenta! There's only one grower who has them regularly, but I've been known to make a special trip just for these beautiful babies.

I'm pretty sure you can figure out from the photo above why they're called watermelon radishes. They're called shinrimei in Chinese. I love the crunch and the grassy flavor, which varies from mild to slightly peppery. We eat them raw. I slice them into thin half-moons and serve them instead of chips with dip. Or I'll cut them into batons and add them to a crudite platter. I hear they're sometimes grown smaller, closer to the size of normal radishes, but I've only seen the huge ones.

Kyocera CSN-182S-NGR Wide Julienne Slicer, Green
Kyocera  julienne slicer
Recently I acquired a Kyocera hand-held shredding gadget (see photo, right). I broke it in with a couple of gorgeous watermelon radishes. Then, as is my habit with radishes of all kinds, I tossed the shreds with lemon, olive oil and a pinch of salt, just like my everyday radish salad. Interestingly, that very simple radish salad recipe has consistently been one of my all-time most popular posts. Go figure. Maybe my radish evangelism is working!

Anyway, the watermelon radish salad: delicious. And gorgeous, too.

Watermelon radish salad
  • 2 large watermelon radishes
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
Peel the very outer layer off the radishes - not too much, because you still want the outer layer to look green. Grate or shred the watermelon radishes using the Kyocera julienne slicer mentioned above, or the largest holes of a box grater, or your food processor. In a large bowl, toss the watermelon radish shreds with the lemon juice and olive oil, and add a pinch of salt. Taste and add more salt if you like. Serve chilled.


Unknown said...

Wow! I'm not a fan of radishes but the hubby is. Haven't seen these.

Maria said...

Love the bright color!

Monet said...

I'm jealous of this gadget...and of your watermelon radishes! How beautiful! I also love finding new and heirloom vegetables. This makes me want to go to the market on Saturday. Thank you so much for sharing!

Rhonda said...

Thanks for exposing me to watermelon radishes...they are new to me. Now I want to try them. They look just as lovely and refreshing as watermelon.

showfoodchef said...

I'm with ya on the color AND unusual produce, so fun to learn about new ones. This salad looks so crisp and fresh and I love your description of the peppery side, makes me want to taste it right now.

Erika Kerekes said...

@Rhonda - but they don't taste like watermelon. Definitely radishes. Don't be misled. :)

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