It's root vegetable season, and the mild and slightly sweet watermelon radish is one of my favorites. The creamy bright white and pale green skin reveals the vibrant fuschia on the inside that makes this radish such a visual delight to adorn any dish.
The watermelon radish, aka Roseheart Radish or Read Meat Radish, is considerably larger than radishes commonly sold at markets; they average approx. 3-4 inches in diameter. This versatile veggie can be mashed like a rutabaga, roasted like a turnip, baked like a potato chip or prepared raw in a variety of ways. Note that when they are cooked, they lose their bold, beautiful color.
This salad recipe is one of my absolute favorites – to eat and and to look at! The creaminess of the avocado, the tartness of the vinaigrette with the mild sweetness and crisp bite of the radish is divine.
Watermelon Radish, Romaine & Avocado with Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 shallot or red onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tbs. white wine vinegar
- Salt, to taste
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, larger outer leaves cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
- seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, optional
In a small bowl, mix the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Add the avocado and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently whisk in the olive oil to make a vinaigrette.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, radish and cilantro. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss gently and season with salt and more lemon juice, if needed. Transfer the salad to individual plates, top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios, and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Another yummy treat: watermelon radish chips. Sliced thinly with a mandolin, they are easy to prepare, and perfect served as a side with grilled fish, on their own for lazy grazing, or with a healthy yogurt dip.
Baked Watermelon Radish Chips
- three large watermelon radishes, washed
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- thyme, to taste
- oregano, to taste
- turmeric, a pinch, optional
- olive oil, as needed to coat
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Slice your radishes thinly using a mandolin (if you don't have a mandolin, slice them with a knife making sure each piece is of uniform thickness for even cooking).
in a medium bowl, add the seasonings and enough olive oil to lightly coat the slices. Add the slices and mix.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and distribute the slices on the sheet.
Transfer the baking sheet to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Time will vary depending on the thickness of he slices. Turn each slice over and bake for the same amount of time as the first side.
Remove and serve warm.
What's your favorite fall root veggie recipe?