If there was one root vegetable I hold in esteem above all others, it would be the humble radish. It looks unassuming, often a spout of slightly spiky leaves and a little red and white body covered in dirt. But the taste! Don't get me started on the taste of a good radish. It's surprisingly peppery with a bright bite that is balanced out by the not-unpleasant undertones of dirt and earth. My fridge is never without a bunch of radishes, nor is my garden.
As a radish lover then, I like to keep my radish recipes as simple as possible. Nothing is worse than a radish that's been coated in too much sauce or butter that its flavor gets lost. The only exception to my sauce rule is aioli because a light aioli's lemony taste brings out the bright, crispy texture of this root veggie. Still, it's best not to over-think it when it comes to eating this veggie, which is why I offer you this simple dish--ideal as a side or light meal--that uses only lemon to flush out the sunshine taste of the radishes and a little pepper to emphasize their bite. You'll notice I also include the radish leaves in this recipe. They are spicy and edible just like the root part of the plant. Just make sure to buy organic and only use leaves that look crisp and full, not mushy or crumpled.
1 bunch radishes, washed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
Separate the radish bottoms from the tops. Thinly slice red radish bottoms and set aside. Line four plates or shallow bowls evenly with radish leaves, then line those leaves with your radish slices. Mix pepper, salt, olive oil and lemon juice in a mason jar and shake until combined. Drizzle the dressing over each of your four salads. Enjoy! Serves 4.
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