Spring has come to Orange County, although you wouldn't know it from some of the weather we've been having. What this means for faithful frequenters of the Irvine Farmers Market, such as myself, is a dazzling new variety of tender, young vegetables to tantalize taste buds jaded after three cold months' worth of tubers and brassicas. April marks the beginning of radish season, something I look forward to in particular.
Radishes are one of my favorite vegetables, with a crisp bite and a clean, fresh taste. Their peppery aroma, reminiscent of wasabi and apples, signals an end to the stodgy flavors of Winter. They're also quite good for you, full of vitamin B6, ascorbic acid, folic acid, copper, calcium, riboflavin, magnesium, and potassium. I picked up this delightful bunch from one of my favorite stalls at the Irvine Farmers Market. Unfortunately, the owner is a bit camera-shy, so no picture of his stand. You'll have to look around the market for radishes yourself.
My favorite method of enjoying radish roots is in a simple salad. I thought this refreshing side dish would be a great accompaniment to the leftovers from my Garlic Lemon Parsley Roast Chicken dinner. Sunday roasts can leave you feeling a little heavy the second time around, so the astringent, acidic flavors of this salad help cut the richness of the chicken.
Recipe for Simple Radish Salad
1 cutting board
1 small mixing bowl
1 lb of radishes
2 tsp of sherry vinegar
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice (No lemon juice handy? Use more sherry vinegar, or the fruit vinegar of your choice.)
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the radishes. Remove their stems and roots. Trim off any woody portions of skin. Thinly slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In the mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss the radish slices in the dressing until lightly coated and serve immediately.