Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Radish Slaw with Apple and Mint

Spring is just around the corner, and here in the city I have amazing access to all kinds of beautiful fresh produce. That's a good thing, because I absolutely love vegetables, especially when I can eat them raw in salads. We're talking way beyond lettuce, folks, all kinds of delicious and crunchy things find their way into my salad bowl. Today we're going to focus on radishes. Poor radishes. They are the orphans of the relish tray, always left behind after the olives, broccoli and baby carrots are all nibbled up. They just sit there, looking forlorn. People don't give radishes the love they should. There is so much more to the world of radishes than the everyday red globe roots we are used to seeing. Indeed, radishes come in a rainbow of colors and a variety of "pepperyness." You know what I mean, radishes can have quite a peppery bite to them, like white radishes- they are often quite hot. Not hot like peppers like radishes!

I grew up with a veggie crisper full of radishes. My dad always grew them in the garden. They were always the first harvest and one of the last things in the cool fall garden. My mom always made relish trays for get-togethers and always sliced up a small pile for salad. We ate radishes all the time. We even ate them like the French- halved and smeared with a teeny bit of butter and dipped in salt. Fresh radishes are crunchy and juicy and it's true, different varieties taste totally different. Watermelon radishes, have a white to green outer skin and interior flesh that's bright pink- hence the name. They have a sweet flavor with just a slight hint of the peppery note of the common radish.

Icicle radishes are white fleshed and look a lot like little carrots. Most white radishes have quite a bit more bite than red radishes. Black radishes are black on the outside and creamy white inside with an intense peppery flavor. Radishes come in just about every color. They look absolutely beautiful together, roasted briefly to bring out the sweetness, or sliced and made into quick pickles, or even just added to a salad. Today we're going to hit the store and see what kinds of radishes we can find, and we're going to make them into a crunchy and fresh slaw with apple and cucumber and lots of fresh mint for an Asian twist. Sinful Food basil olive oil is going to bring our dressing into the spotlight with its fresh basil flavor and aroma and Signature Seasoning bumps the flavor up several notches over plain salt and pepper. Let's go shopping!

One of my favorite places to shop, especially for produce, is Gateway Market. We shop here all the time, and have shared a shopping trip or two with you before, so I won't repeat all the many incredible things you can pick up here, most notably the mile long (not really but practically) olive bar that gets me in more trouble with The Chef.... We'll concentrate on produce. I found during my quest for watermelon radishes that they are not easy to find in February in Des Moines, even though they are in season. I had to contact a produce distributor for help, and when that failed, I contacted Gateway Market for help. Their produce guy, Brian, was super helpful and walked me through requesting special produce. Super easy and one email later he let me know when the radishes would be in- so here I am, at Gateway, browsing the rest of the fresh goodies, and that super naughty olive bar that gets me into trouble every time.

I got up bright and early on Radish Day, even long before my alarm. You could say I was a little excited. Gateway Market is just west of downtown Des Moines in a historic area of the city called Sherman Hill. Surrounded by lovely Victorian homes and ultra-modern lofts Gateway is such an amazing store. Since we've visited Gateway before let's just skip ahead to the good stuff- the produce. At first I had trouble finding the watermelon radishes. I expected them to be either sold in bunches with greens attached or packaged in bags. I did not expect the produce guy to bring me a giant case of loose radishes and allow me to pick the exact ones I wanted. I was very surprised to see how big they were. The radishes in the case ranged from golf ball size to baseball size. I really didn't have a preference as to size, since we will be cutting them into matchsticks anyway so I just grabbed a bag and made my selection. 

I always spend most of my time in the store in the produce section and today was no different. I was looking for a few other items for the rest of our meals for the weekend so I picked up some really nice organic baby potatoes, organic baby rainbow carrots and a nice box of big cherry tomatoes. These veggies I planned on roasting and serving with my beef roast for dinner tonight. I also snapped up an organic cucumber, some crisp and fresh scallions for the radish slaw, as well as a couple Granny Smith apples, and as I was making a last scan over the vegetables something bright and green and beautiful caught my eye. I think my eyes might have bugged out too and I think I actually squealed out loud when I reached out and picked up the one thing I have been searching and searching for and certainly did not expect to find on this trip- a Romanesco cauliflower! Laugh all you want, you ought to know by now, I am a total vegetable nerd. Anyway, my list of foodie resolutions for 2016 included tracking this beauty of a veg down and cooking it and I never did find one. Suddenly, here it was, in my hand, and I was soooooo thrilled to have it, I didn't even remember to go the olive bar...........

Radish Slaw with Apple and Mint

1/2 lb radishes, multi colored if available
1 medium cucumber
2 Granny Smith apples
1 bunch fresh mint
2-3 scallions
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons Sinful Food basil oil
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Sinful Food Signature Seasoning
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Cut the radishes into matchsticks, along with the cucumber. Place in large bowl. Slice the scallions including the green tops and add to bowl. Cut the apple into matchsticks but leave the peel on, add to the bowl.

Pull the mint leaves off the stems and give them a rough chop. Add to the vegetables in the bowl.

I was unable to get fresh mint, so I subbed fresh parsley. You
can substitute parsley or basil if you don't like mint.
In a jar with a lid combine the vinegar, lemon juice, both oils, mustard and seasoning. Screw the lid on and shake vigorously to combine. Pour dressing over the vegetables, starting with about half the dressing. Toss to coat. Add the almonds, toss again, and add more dressing to taste.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." As a Brand Ambassador, the company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift or something of value. Regardless,  I only recommend products or services I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. That slaw looks amazing!!! I love radishes in all shapes and sizes. Can't wait for the farmers markets to get ramped up again for great offerings. Your store looks amazing, btw!

  2. You're so adventurous. I LOVE IT!