I wasn’t a big fan of radishes until I helped my garden-mate, Vicki the Radish Queen, grow some. Instead of imparting a burnt, dry flavor, they now say “crisp” and “zingy” to me. White-and-green Icicle radishes; round, dark-red radishes; and oblong, two-tone French radishes are all easy to grow, but the pretty, round ones do best in our garden. Round radishes resist cracking open even when they get pretty big. About half of our carrot crop was wintered-over, and the early carrots have cracked, too, but the remainder is sweet and juicy. When I grated both the raw radishes and carrots and added a vaguely Moroccan and vaguely what-have-I-got-in-the-cupboard dressing, the result was this tasty spring salad.
The carrots and radishes can be thinly sliced rather than grated, and rosewater, found in Middle Eastern groceries, is optional. I think this carrot-radish salad would be good stuffed into a hummus, falafel or turkey sandwich, too, especially if I make up a yogurt-based version of the dressing to bind it together more. Green peas would make a smashing color combination with the same dressing, and cucumbers or zucchini would work nicely with a second crop of radishes later in the summer.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves or 1 garlic scape, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon mild paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
- 3 carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 bunch radish, grated
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
Whisk oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey, cumin, paprika and cinnamon, as well as rosewater, if used, in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the carrots and radishes. Toss with the mint leaves.
Serves about four.