Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crunchy little radish salad for kids (and adults)

We are in love with radishes at the moment. Yes, the Dirty Girl strawberries are AMAZING. And, yes, the Dirty Girl asparagus is delicious and looks otherworldly with it's beautiful green-purple color. But radishes are what we've been eating most this week.

Until now I've under-appreciated and under-used these happy, peppery little root vegetables. Inspired by a snack at the wonderful new restaurant Bantam in Santa Cruz, I've been making a just-radish salad almost daily. It's perfect alongside almost any sandwich or enjoyed by itself.

before - french breakfast and cherryette radishes and italian parsley

after - crunchy little radish salad

My kids love this radish salad. And I'm not saying this to brag that my kids are "good-eaters." It's just that the salad is really simple, tasty, and colorful. It's kid-friendly. Also, when my kids are eating something that's good for them I never make a big deal about it. I react to their eating a salad, or roasted cauliflower, or a fresh tomato in the same way I would react to an adult eating something that looks delicious. I might say, "Yum, that looks good." But I don't say "GOOD for you! I'm so PROUD of you!" That would be weird to say to my husband and so I show my kids the same respect when they're eating.

They also like this salad because they can make it with me and when they've been involved in creating a dish they usually enjoy it more, or will at least try a bite. Don't worry, the "recipe" pretty much cannot be messed up. Because my kids are little I am the slicer/chopper and they are the mixer/tasters. If your kids like eating the final product, awesome. If not, more for you!

We sell French Breakfast and Cherryette radishes year-round at the farmers market but they are especially great in the spring because they germinate in cold (winter/early spring) soil, grow quickly, and can be harvested before many other vegetables, like carrots and turnips, are ready.

Here's the quote-unquote recipe for the Crunchy little radish salad for kids (and adults):

1. clean one or two bunches of radishes by chopping off the thin roots at the bottom and the stems at the top and washing the radishes well
2. thinly slice radishes using a knife or mandolin
3. roughly chop a small handful of cilantro or parsley (really, either one is good)
4. make a vinaigrette with olive oil and vinegar (balsamic, red wine, or even apple cider vinegar)
5. toss radishes, herbs, and vinaigrette together
6. add salt to taste