I just need to brag about my husband a little bit. He’s got this super cool backyard garden that he meticulously tends to. He has seed starters, and homemade potting mix, and he has multiple types of organic fertilizers. And he tracks things. Like, he has excel spreadsheets. About vegetables. Vegetable spreadsheets, people.
(If you had told me when we started dating that Dave would basically become nerd farmer extraordinaire I would not have believed you).
I freaking love it.
Not only is it such a cool hobby and super hilarious to watch our 1 year old dig around in the dirt just like “da da” but it means tons of fresh, lovingly tended to produce coming to The Gourmet Gourmand kitchen, and keeps me on my toes with creativity.
So, because Dave’s garden has been in full swing with load of fresh vegetables and herbs exploding out of everywhere, it’s almost as if the universe is telling me to stop it with all my baking and slow cooking and make some recipes out of fresh vegetables, you glutton (er… gourmand…).
So, behold, the latest salad fresh from our garden! The only produce not procured from our backyard in the recipe are lemons and onion.
But let’s talk salad flavors. Radishes are wholly unappreciated, and I have to say I use to be a radish skeptic after eating one too many bitter and unpleasantly spicy radishes tossed into my restaurant salads as an afterthought. If this is also you, do not give up on radishes!! If you can get ahold of fresh spring radishes, they will blow your freaking mind. Dave’s radishes are sweet, tender, and just lightly peppery, and easily can be the star of the plate, like they are in this salad.
I shaved the radish here just using a very sharp paring knife, but feel free to use a mandolin if you have access to one. Then add some carrot (as fresh as possible) for a sweet accompaniment. A few greens help to bulk up the salad (I just used whatever Dave had from the garden – buttercrunch lettuce, some frisee, and some young radish greens), but remember that the star of the show here is radish all the way!
The dressing is a zippy lemon vinaigrette with dill that pairs so perfectly with the young sweet radishes and carrots.
Now what to do with our basil bounty….?
Spring Salad with Radish, and DillCourse: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
4 oz mixed greens, washed and dried (I used a combination of buttercrunch lettuce, frisee, and young radish greens, but feel free to use what you have on hand. A peppery green like arugula would probably work well).
5-6 radishes, shaved (use the freshest you can find)
1 large carrot, ribboned
- Vinaigrette ingredients
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onion (I recommend Vidalia)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Start by preparing the vinaigrette. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, dijon, fresh dill, onion, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Set aside to let onions mellow for at least 15 minutes, but can be prepared a few hours or even a day in advance.
- In a large salad bowl, add your greens, carrots, and radishes. Toss salad with dressing just before serving.
- Finish with freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.
- Dave grows the Roxanne Radish in our garden (for any gardeners out there!) Very sweet and keeps a beautiful round shape.