Top | Vegetable Literacy
Finely Shaved Radish, Turnip, and Carrot Salad with Hard Cheese and Spicy Greens
(recipe, Deborah Madison)
A festive party frock that flaunts all the colors of the season, this salad shows off the pink and green centers of China Rose and Green Meat radishes, scarlet-skinned salad turnips, pure white daikon rounds, purple-skinned carrots with their orange and yellow centers, radish sprouts, and more. If I have them, I include a few peeled fava beans, the big fleshly leaves of golden purslane, arugula flowers, and chervil sprigs. Leave out the cheese if you like, but do consider every possible vegetable.
The thinner you can slice these roots, the more pleasing they are to eat — and the more translucent their colors, too. Despite the ingredient list, this is basically an extemporaneous kind of dish, based on what you happen to have.
- 1 small daikon
- 1 China Rose, Watermelon, or other large pink-centered radish
- 1 Green Meat radish
- 1 or 2 small scarlet- or white-skinned salad turnips
- 2 or 3 smallish purple-skinned carrots
- 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Thin shaved slices of dry Monterey Jack, Parmesan, Gruyère, or Manchego cheese
- Radish sprouts, tender radish leaves, arugula, and/or microgreens
- Pinch of Maldon sea salt
- Trim the greens from the radishes and set aside a handful of the smallest, most tender leaves.
- Trim the radish and turnip roots, leaving just a bit of the stem, and rinse. Thinly slice the radishes, turnips, and carrots, either lengthwise or crosswise, on a mandoline. Put the slices in a bowl, add the chives and reserved radish greens, and toss with enough oil to coat lightly. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss once more, taste, and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Heap the salad on a platter. Finish with the cheese, radish sprouts, and Maldon sea salt.