I’m gonna be honest and say that I’ve never really been a radish fan. Mr M, on the other hand, is firmly on team RADISH ALL THE THINGS, so we always seem to have those suckers in the house at any given time. Recently I’ve been buying daikon radish roots for him because, sliced thinly on a mandolin, they make great cracker-sized “dippers” for guacamole.
(A side note: after a little mandolin-involved accident in the kitchen, I now highly recommend people get themselves a pair of cut proof gloves as a little extra insurance against the stupid-sharp mandolin blades. Don’t be like me. Keep your fingers un-scarred!)
My personal summer favorite when it comes to snacking and dipping, however, is jicama. I love how crispy-crunchy it is and its refreshingly clean-but-almost-sweet flavor. It goes exceptionally well with home made pâté and since I try to eat that a couple of times a week (because nutrients!), I’ve usually got a head or two of jicama knocking around the place, too. Is that even the right word? Bulb? I mean, it’s a root, so maybe I should have gone with bulb. Who knows. Anyway.
Over the holiday weekend, I made several racks of the nightshade free ribs from Nourish and I wanted to throw together a couple of sides that would be nice and easy, not to mention dupe the non AIP-ers around into eating food that I could share, too. So this Jicama Radish Slaw turned out to be the result of me rummaging around my kitchen and working with what I had to whip up a quick side salad.
It’s a lovely play on a traditional slaw: the jicama and radishes are clean and crispy, the dressing is light and zingy and finishing it all off with slivers of mango and avocado give a pop of sweetness and a nice creamy bite to contrast with the vegetables. I really should have made a bigger batch!
The funny thing is that I whipped up this Jicama Radish Slaw, fully expecting not to eat it myself… but even I enjoyed it, despite practically being a card carrying member of the “Radishes: What’s The Point?” Club. I tend to find standard red radishes a little bitter, but tossed in a dressing of lime, cilantro and a smidge of fresh ginger, they were downright delightful. They seemed to take on the flavors of the dressing, while adding a little hint of heat that I don’t get to enjoy often on the AIP!
I chose to add daikon into the mix because, while technically also a radish, I find it to be a cleaner, milder flavor that would balance out the more earthy red radishes. But you don’t have to make this recipe exactly as I did. Play around with the different radishes you can find. If you can’t find daikon, try swapping in watermelon radishes or adding other red radish varieties.
This week I happened upon these beautifully long and thin Cincinatti radishes that looked like heirloom carrots at first glance. They turned out to be a very mild, almost sweet radish and I added those to the Jicama Radish Slaw in finely sliced pieces for a pop of color.
When it comes to summer cookouts, this is a keeper. Pair the slaw with your favorite grilled meats and no one will be missing the usual glooby, dairy-heavy coleslaw. So far, we’ve enjoyed this with baby back ribs, alongside burgers with all the fixins’ and piled into a salad bowl topped with hot smoked salmon. It’s really versatile and just the kind of dish I find myself craving when it’s 100 degrees in my kitchen and we find ourselves heading to our deck so that we can eat outside instead of staying in.
A little heads up: the vegetables tossed together with the dressing will still be crunchy after hanging out in the fridge together for a day or two, but you’ll find that the pink radishes will bleed a little, tinging everything with a touch of pink. It makes no difference whatsoever to the flavor, but if you want the Jicama Radish Slaw to have a little less of a fuchsia flush, you can chop the vegetables ahead of time and then toss them with the dressing just before serving.
Whether you choose to make the slaw ahead of time or not, make sure to only slice and add the avocado and mango at the last minute before serving, to prevent the avocado browning or the mango losing its firmness.
Mix it up
- if you can’t find daikon, any radish variety of your choice will work!
- for a creamy dressing, substitute a few tablespoons of coconut milk for avocado oil
- swap the cilantro out for parsley, mint or basil
- swap the lime juice for lemon juice
- for pop of umami, throw in a few black olives or capers
- swap the mango for sliced peaches, apricots or your favorite stone fruits
This post was included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable!
- 10 oz / 300 g jicama (about ½ of a small-medium)
- 5 oz / 150 g red radishes
- 4 oz / 125 g daikon radish
- 1 avocado
- 1 mango
- ¼ cup / 60 ml avocado oil
- ¼ cup / 60 ml fresh lime juice
- 3 packed tbsp / 18 g fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tbsp / 21 g fresh minced ginger
- Salt, to taste
- CHOP: Peel the jicama and then slice it thinly lengthwise. I used a mandolin (and cut proof gloves!) to make this easy and get even slices. Carefully cut the slices into thin matchsticks. Repeat this process for both the red radishes and the daikon. If you have some smaller, thinner radishes, just slice them thinly and skip the matchsticks altogether.
- EMULSIFY: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a mini food processor and process until evenly combined and dotted through with fine pieces of cilantro.
- TOSS: In a large bowl, toss together the dressing with the chopped vegetables. Taste and add salt, as needed. Thinly slice the avocado and mango. Divide the salad between plates and fan out the avocado and mango on the side. Serve immediately.
- STORE: The vegetables tossed in the dressing will keep overnight just fine, retaining their crunch, but the pink of the radishes will start to bleed a little. If that's a problem, you can chop the vegetables ahead of time and then toss with the dressing and add the avocado and mango just before serving.
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