Are you a radish lover or hater? I’m gonna assume, since you’re here looking at a poached radish salad that’s approximately 98% radishes… probably the former.
Me, not so much. I don’t exactly hate them, but I’ve always thought of them as a little boring. If a vegetable with as much of a peppery bite as a strong radish can have… can be boring. I don’t know, but I suspect it’s less the flavor of radishes that’s always been my problem, but more that they don’t exactly appear in any super-inspired dishes.
Usually, the mundane little radish ends up as a garnish, an after thought. Slivered onto tacos for color, or plopped into dull garden salads to make them… still pretty damn dull. You get the picture.
But with summer here to stay and CSA boxes, farmer’s markets and even grocery stores fully laden with different varieties of radish lately, I got to thinking about making them their own star. You know, a radish dish that’s meant to be a radish dish. And this poached radish salad is definitely all radish, all the time.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is the frankly bananas level of color these suckers have. They’re pretty much bordering on neon, and, no, that’s not because I slipped with the saturation slider when I was editing the photos.
When I was dreaming up this poached radish salad, I actually assumed it was going to turn out much more on the muted millennial pink side of the color spectrum, as radishes tend to fade once they get in on the heat of poaching or roasting. And that did happen, at first.
But then I decided to liven things up by glazing the radishes with a little bath of white wine vinegar and lemon juice so that that zippy acidity was in every bite rather than just in a surface dressing.
The surprise for me was what happened next. When the radishes were tossed and glazed in that mixture, their color amped up to a million and they near day-glo’d their way out of the skillet. So there you go. Cooked radishes + acid = glow stick vegetables.
When it comes to choosing the fat or oil to cook and dress this poached radish salad, make sure you’re either choosing a more neutral oil like this avocado oil OR choosing something that you really like the flavor of, because the bulk of the flavor comes from the radishes themselves and the fat that they are cooked in and dressed with.
If you tolerate it, I highly recommend a good quality ghee for this recipe, because it will lend a lovely buttery quality to the dish that really makes the radishes sing. (I like this one.) If you’re on the elimination phase of the AIP, you can use extra virgin olive oil for flavor, or stick to avocado or a more neutral coconut oil if you like.
(If you’re looking for a radish recipe that really mellows them out, try my Herb Roasted Radishes!)Print
Herbed & Poached Radish Salad
If you’re looking for something more interesting to do with radishes, this herbed & poached radish salad fits the bill. It’s crisp and bright, flecked with zippy herbs and has a mild punch of acidity that brings this summery dish together.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 4 - 6 as a side 1x
- 1 1/2 lbs / 680 g radishes trimmed of their greens, about 3 – 4 medium bunches
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml extra virgin olive oil, ghee butter or avocado oil, see notes
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon, zest first & reserve)
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil (a liquid oil or fat to dress the radishes)
- 1/2 cup / 75 g diced celery
- 1/4 cup / 15 g chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup / 7 g fresh minced parsley
- 1 tbsp / 14 g rinsed salted capers (for AIP) or non pareil capers
- Zest of half a lemon (reserved from earlier)
- Salt & pepper, to taste, omit pepper for AIP
- POACH: Top and tail the radishes, then cut them in half or even quarters if they’re especially large. Add them to a large pan or skillet, along with the 3 tablespoons / 45 ml of cooking oil or fat, broth and sea salt. Over low medium heat, bring the broth up to an almost-boil, then reduce the heat so that the liquid is bubbling gently and evenly. Cook the radishes, stirring a few times, until their color has faded to a dusty pink and they are just barely fork tender but not soft, about 7 – 8 minutes.
- DRESS: Zest the lemon and reserve the zest for later. Juice the lemon, then add the lemon juice and white wine vinegar to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the radishes have brightened to a near neon pink from the acid, about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove the radishes from the heat and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons / 30 ml oil or fat of choice, stir to coat and then leave to cool a little.
- TOSS: Once the radishes have cooled to the touch, add the diced celery, chopped chives, minced parsley and rinsed capers. Add the reserved lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. You can serve the poached radish salad slightly warm, or pop it into the fridge to chill and for the flavors to mingle a little before serving it cold.