My first purchase of a Watermelon Radish was really by accident.
Sweet Surprise. I thought I was purchasing a sort of turnip. Something I'd have to cook. But I sliced it open and was stunned by the bright fluorescent pink color and fragrant, sweet radish scent. I nibbled it a bit. hmm, yummy.
I then googled: "Are Watermelon Radishes safe to eat raw?"
Yes, I probably should've googled before biting. But lucky me, raw is perfectly safe - and scrumptious! This radish was perfect for slicing and munching raw! I was in veggie heaven. I gobbled my entire little radish in one sitting. "More, more, more!" ..my tummy cried.
More. Yes. I needed another. I wanted to make a radish salad to post and share with all of you! But I knew there was only one place I could secure some fall Watermelon Radishes - the Union Square Greenmarket. The Windfall Farms booth. Since it was late in the week, this would mean only one thing: I'd have to go to the Market on sunny, beautiful Saturday afternoon. *shrieks of horror* Will I ever get out alive?! Find out..
My salad recipe: The sweet orange juice and tart cider vinegar soaks into the onions and radishes. When left overnight in the fridge, they become slightly pickled. Sweet and sassy with a tangy bite - these radishes are delicious eaten alone or layered on top of a green spinach or mache salad. Zingy-licious.
This salad was totally addicting, I must say.
My husband kept asking for more radishes! We were both convinced that nibbling them was an uber-zen, happy-tummy, palate-cleansing experience.
But before I could make the salad... I had to secure the radishes! Not as easy as it sounds since these radishes are actually quite rare to find in mainstream stores. I didn't even see any in Whole Foods. I hope you can find some in a store near you - or at your local Greenmarket...
I was so in love with my radishes, I completely forgot to take a few photos before I sliced them! This was the closest I got..
The watermelon colors of green 'rind' pink flesh are clear!..
Mission: Watermelon Radish.
location: Union Square NYC. date: (a Saturday)
Greenmarket Saturdays. I love the Union Square Greenmarket. But to be frank, I despise going to it on a Saturday afternoon. Let me explain..
During the week, I'll sneak away to the Greenmarket around say 11am on a Monday or Wednesday. My weekly treat to myself. The walkway will be clear. The air crisp. I'm free to roam and ponder and browse each of the yummy farmstand goodies all around me. Friendly calm workers smile and chat and look you in the eye. A peaceful place to load up on healthy foods. Come Saturday afternoon, Dr. Jekyll turns into Mr.Hyde...
But thanks to my ravenous craving for a Watermelon Radish, I marched straight into the eye of the storm.
Bags bumping, sun glaring, tourists snapping photos of the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes - blocking the slim walkway without a care. Chattering shoppers, cash flashing, kale bursting out of canvas bags, pumpkins popping up on every table. It wasn't a madhouse - but a madmarket.
Seeking: Watermelon Radishes! I found myself knee-deep in the Saturday afternoon Greenmarket abyss. All for those darn cravable radishes.
I spotted the booth and two huge bins filled with radishes. I bought three. One was huge! I then made my way back through the slow-as-molasses crawl of the crowd and headed home to get started on my salad.
Watermelon Radish Facts 101: "A ball-shaped spring radish, 3-4 inches in diameter, with crisp, bright red flesh and a mild-sweet peppery taste. The center of the radish is sweeter, and the outer flesh is hotter. The outer skin is white with green shoulders and a pink base. The watermelon radish is related to turnips and horseradish. Unlike many other radishes, the intensity of the watermelon radish decreases as it matures." -Food.com
So yea, these radishes are pretty darn special.
Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad
vegan, makes 4 cups
1 large watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds
1 small white onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
splash of rice wine vinegar (optional - adds an extra layer of tart-sweetness)
1. Slice your onion and radish. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl - toss well.
3. Place in fridge to chill overnight.