I’m celebrating the late winter season with this vibrant radish salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette. It’s packed with flavor and texture, and is sweet, tangy, and earthy. This winter salad is bursting with flavor, and almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
When we lived in Virginia, most summers I kept some kind of garden. Some years it was (relatively) big and bountiful, and other years it was just a collection of pots I’d cobbled together.
Every year I tried to grow radishes. And every year I failed.
Every. Single. Year.
It was such a head-scratcher. Tomatoes? No problem. Peppers? Plentiful. Salad greens? Grew like weeds. But radishes simply didn’t care for my garden vibes.
One year I managed to grow a single, perfect sparkler radish, and I thought I’d finally cracked the radish code! But when I pulled up the rest of his radish top friends, they were barren. Twas a bittersweet day.
Nevertheless, my love for radishes persists. Because radishes are really, really rad. They’re sweet and earthy and spicy and so delightfully crunchy, and I eat them whenever I can.
My most recent winter CSA haul included a generous bag of tender pea shoots. After tossing them into frittatas and basic leafy green salads for a couple of days, I finally decided they needed more colorful companions, so I whipped up this radish salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette. And you should too. Because radishes are rad.
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Radish Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe Notes
Variety is the spice of life, and that’s particularly true with radishes.
Some are a little spicier. Some are a little sweeter. And some are just so darn pretty you can’t resist tossing them into a salad (I’m looking at you, watermelon radishes).
I used three different varietals for this radish salad to keep the textures and flavors as interesting as possible. A watermelon radish (sweet and spicy), some french breakfast radishes (more sweet than spice), and a couple of china rose (more spice than sweet). This recipe is really forgiving, though, so use what you can find that’s fresh and local.
I sliced the radishes super thin using my mandoline, along with half an english cucumber. I peeled the watermelon radish first, because the skin can be a little bitter. I also sliced it in half because it was gigantic.
At the very last minute, I decided this salad needed one more punch of color and flavor, so I added some naval oranges. An excellent call if I do say so myself. I cut the oranges into supremes, and the process is easier than it looks.
Start by trimming the ends and slicing off the skin, like I did with the citrus in my winter kale salad. Then, instead of slicing the oranges into crosswise sections, you’ll remove each section. To do so, use a very sharp knife and cut along the membrane line on one side of the section, then cut along the other side to release the orange section.
The resulting slice of fruit is called a “supreme”, a name which I find to be utterly ridiculous and super fabulous all at the same time. If you need a better visual, this is a superb tutorial on how to supreme citrus.
The real magic here, though, is this sweet, tangy, creamy meyer lemon dressing. It pairs perfectly with the spicy, earthy notes from the radishes and greens, and adds a punchy, bright finish to this lovely hot mess of delicious.
This radish salad is celebratory, seasonal, and fork lickin’ good.
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Watermelon Radish Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
This watermelon radish salad with meyer lemon vinaigrette is the very best of winter produce. This winter salad recipe is vibrant, earthy, tangy and almost too pretty to eat.
- 3.5 oz pea shoots about 2 big handfuls
- 3 oz baby spinach about 2 big handfuls
- 8 oz assorted radishes thinly sliced into 1/8" slices
- 1/2 english cucumber thinly sliced into 1/8" slices
- 2 sweet oranges cut into supremes
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 meyer lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1/4 c unfiltered extra virgin olive oil
Toss the spinach and pea shoots until incorporated and spread onto a platter.
Wash the radishes, then trim the root end from each. Leave the other end intact so that you can grasp it while you slice the radishes. Slice the radishes into ⅛” slices using a mandoline vegetable slicer. Transfer radish slices to a bowl.
Thinly slice the english cucumber into ⅛” slices, and add to the bowl with the radishes.
Slice the tops and bottoms from each orange. Using a sharp knife, cut away the skin and pith from each orange. Insert the knife into the orange along the membrane line to release half the section. Then slice into the section on the other side of the membrane line to fully release the section. Repeat with all sections on both oranges.
Squeeze out the orange juice from the remaining membranes onto the radishes and cucumbers, then toss to coat in the orange juice.
Spread the radishes and cucumber over the spinach and pea shoots, then dot the salad with the supremes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, white vinegar, honey, salt, and a pepper until the honey is thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the yogurt. Pour in the olive oil in a continuous stream and whisk until emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately. The salad keeps in the fridge undressed for up to 24 hours.
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