Radish Potato-less Salad

Radishes

I’m going to be honest. Up until now, I’ve been a plain old raw radish fan. Never taking this veggie anywhere other than to the top of a salad at home. I’ve literally had zero creativity with this gorgeous root crop & I’m embarrassed to admit it. It’s time to take some inspiration from the wildly inventive recipes out there! There were so many ideas out there that it was really difficult to try to select one to begin with. Radish & sesame soy noddles topped the list. Potato-less potato salad with radishes sounded incredible to me too. So did mashed radishes. Eventually I’ll be sure to try them all out!

Growing radishes - for us here at Stonecrop Garden- has actually not been as smooth sailing as we’d envisioned it to be. While some successions of the crop will be near perfection, others have bolted (when the plant goes to seed and the root doesn’t size up properly) which is always a sad sight. We’re working on honing the skill of growing a consistent radish crop. Primarily, we’ve grown the variety called “Pink Beauty,” which gets to be about ping pong ball size, has a beautiful pink hue, and tastes only mildly spicy and refreshingly crunchy. 

It’s actually grown similarly to arugula. Meaning that it prefers cooler weather, and that the same bugs that enjoy arugula enjoy radishes too (they’re in the same family after all). So, we cover it with frost cloth too to protect it from any damage. Spacing between the plants is a little more important here than it is with arugula, since crowded crops have a harder time growing to the size you’d like to see them. If they’re too close together, it’s worth taking a few minutes to run down the bed and thin out the scraggly looking ones to create a gap between plants, giving them more space to size up. An inch between will definitely suffice. We’ve grown four rows to a bed, a practice that has worked well, though we could probably increase that to five or six rows per bed as we get better at timing and sowing this early spring crop.

A little sample of our first pink beauty radish crop of the 2019 season!

A little sample of our first pink beauty radish crop of the 2019 season!

Radishes in their natural habitat

Radishes in their natural habitat

The first round of radish potato-less salad

The first round of radish potato-less salad

The fun thing is, there are so many varieties of radish to choose from! Decadent French breakfast radishes, adorable Easter Egg radishes, Watermelon, Daikon... each with their own unique flavors & textures. If you find one variety too spicy or not spicy enough- there’s sure to be another variety out there just for you.

And now for the recipe! Let me just start by saying that this recipe requires very little time to prepare, which is always wonderful. The most time consuming part was poaching the radishes, during which you can prepare everything else you need. 

Admittedly, I was hesitant to substitute radishes for potatoes in a potato salad of all things. I am so happy to say that I was wrong to hesitate. Really, really wrong. In fact, I think I prefer radishes in a potato-less salad... but I’d definitely have to do a side by side comparison to confirm this. 

It had just the right amount of crunch, and poaching removed any of the heat I anticipated the radishes would bring to the dish. Though we halved the dill, it could have done with all of it. If you’re a dill lover, double the amount I’ve listed below to reach the amount in the original recipe. This recipe was so refreshing and perfect for a hot spring day that we made it again the day after we made (and ate) all of the first batch.

Do yourself a favor and make this one, then let me know what you thought (or would add to it!) below. Here’s a link to the original for you to check out: https://withfoodandlove.com/potato-less-potato-salad/

Ingredients

  • 3 bunches radishes leaves trimmed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/3 cup vegenaise 

  • 1/2 cup celery diced small

  • 1/4 cup shallots minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Wash the trimmed radishes and halve. In a large shallow pan over high heat combine the radishes, olive oil, water and a heavy pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil uncovered. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

  • The radishes should be soft and tender, and most of the water should be absorbed. Remove the radishes from the heat and set aside on a towel to cool and pat dry.

  • In a small bowl mix together the vegenaise, celery, shallots, dill, mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss the radishes with the dressing and combine well.

  • Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

Our second batch of radish potato-less salad!

Our second batch of radish potato-less salad!