Behold the watermelon radish

This time of year, it’s hard not to look at the contents of your produce drawer without at least a little disappointment. Right around now, I always rediscover the root vegetables that have been calmly waiting for me to get bored with carrots and kale. Today, watermelon radishes.

In raw form, they look pretty normal:

Raw watermelon radish

But sliced!

Sliced Watermelon Radishes

They don’t need much. Cut them into wedges and dip them first into fresh unsalted butter, then into salt, or make a simple, colorful salad like this one:

Cress, Orange, and Radish Salad, undressed

Recipe for Watercress, Orange, and Watermelon Radish Salad with Poppy Lemongrette
Recipe 71 of 365

Peppery watercress, sweet oranges, sharp red onions, and slightly bitter, candy-colored watermelon radishes make this salad a great study in contrasts. Segment your oranges for fancier presentation, or simply peel and separate the pieces if you use oranges (like the “Gold Nugget” tangerines I found) whose skin is loose from the fruit’s interior.

I like to call simple salad dressings made with lemon instead of vinegar “lemongrettes” – this is just one with poppyseeds.

TIME: 15 minutes
MAKES: 4 smaller servings, as an appetizer or side salad

1 small bunch watercress, rinsed and spun dry
1 orange, segments cut or peeled apart
1 watermelon radish (or 3 regular radishes), very thinly sliced
2 thin cross-section slices red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon poppyseeds
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pile the watercress, orange segments, radish slices, and chopped red onion into a salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and poppyseeds together, then add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Dress the salad with the lemongrette and serve immediately.

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Filed under recipe, salad, vegetables

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