Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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Radish, Carrot & Citrus Salad (With A Little Help From My Friends, The Nokes)

Finally after months of waiting–a Radish, Carrot and Citrus Salad fresh from my garden!

I sowed the carrot seeds last fall and the white radishes in January and here’s how they looked when I pulled them out of the ground. 

The oranges even came from my 60+ year old Valencia orange tree. Okay, I had to buy the red radishes. I needed them for color and didn’t realize the ones I planted were white.

I wanted to make a radish and carrot salad and used a Tyler Florence recipe as my inspiration, but didn’t have all his ingredients. When I tasted my version, I knew something was missing–I just wasn’t sure what. That’s when I went over to Cathy and Larry Nokes, salad in hand, to figure out what it needed. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

Here’s how it all started.

Radish, Carrot & Citrus Salad
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 large white radishes
  • 10 red radishes
  • 4-5 white and orange carrots
  • cilantro, a handful
  • lemon basil, 3-4 sprigs
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • the juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Things we added to make it more tasty–try them all and see which is your favorite.

  • chopped mint leaves, sea salt
  • Blue agave, a drizzle and Truvia (or sugar), just a pinch
  • cumin, a small shake
  • garlic chili sauce, a small spoonful 
  • and for the brave, both the chili sauce and mint (my favorite)
Back to the original recipe. I used my mandoline to thinly slice the carrots and radishes. Be careful not to cut yourself. If you don’t have a mandoline, use a sharp knife and slice them as thinly as you can.

Put in a nice bowl.

Chop the cilantro and lemon basil.

Cut the top and bottom off the oranges and carefully cut out the segments, leaving the membrane behind. Catch the juice in a bowl–that will be part of the dressing.

Add the orange segments, cilantro and salt to the radishes and carrots. Pour the orange and lemon juice over the mixture and season with Kosher salt. Toss and taste. This was when I knew it was missing something–I just wasn’t sure what.  

It was time to drive up to Cathy and Larry’s house so they could taste and help me figure out what it needed.

Cathy had the great idea to divide it onto four plates so we could judge each ingredient independently.  

Tyler Florence’s recipe called for mint–something I’m not growing, but Cathy had fresh mint in her garden. We added it to one of the plate and WOW! it was great. Very fresh, spring-like. 

Here’s the lineup of all the ingredients we taste-tested. None of us loved the cumin. It just wasn’t the right fit. That’s the fun part of cooking–you just never know what’s going to work.

Larry’s first idea was Blue Agave and Truvia.

He was happy with the taste test…and so were we. 

If you don’t have Blue Agave, you can use honey.

Cathy added the Garlic Chili Sauce. It completely changed the whole taste of the dish. The heat kind of overpowered it, but it was yummy.

Then we tried it with both the mint and the Garlic Chili sauce. That combo really had quite the kick. Warning–it’s hot and spicy.

We had a hard time deciding which version we liked best and what it would pair well with. Larry said white rice, Cathy thought scallops and I said either grilled fish or chicken. I also thought it would be good with grilled meat, but was overruled.

This much I know–one of these versions will appeal to your taste buds.

I’d like to welcome my new readers in Norway and Vietnam. Remember you can read all about Laguna Beach and get my recipes first at Stu News.

Categories: Soups & Salads

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