WINTER RADISH AND KALE SALAD WITH CITRUS AND HERBS
It is not a mistake that a simple, arresting radish and parmesan salad appears on the front cover of my book FEAST (which came out 5 years ago) and that a radish, kale and citrus salad is headlining my journal today--feeling as fresh and new as ever. Radish salad never goes out of style.
To wit: You can serve a radish salad as first course to a meaty, rich dinner--like short ribs--or alongside a platter of charcuterie as the main event. But it equally belongs with pulled pork, or on a taco spread, or on a delicate platter like this one, before you serve a whole, glorious side of roasted fish. It’s as welcome in your lunchtime bowl, deskside, as it is on any party spread. It’s right at home in the middle of winter--starring dense watermelon radishes and shiny pink turnips shaved into wispy rounds, and elevated with juicy, fleshy citrus--and yet it’s absolutely the right thing to do come spring and summer, when delicate easter egg and punchy globe radishes appear.
To master the art, it’s essential that you slice the radishes extremely thin--either with a sharp knife, or a mandoline, which makes quick work of it (I like a Japanese mandoline; mine gets daily use). Also, slice your radishes right before you serve so they stay crisp and behave on the plate (once they dry out, they start to curl and turn dull, but you can slice them in advance, then keep them in a bowl of ice water until you’re ready to toss them in). Finally, know that it’s the scattering of small herbs (mix them up, I love mint and dill in combo)--either baby fronts or roughly chopped whole ones--that make this great, both visually, and one you dig in.
Use whatever radishes you can find and love. Sure, watermelon and pink turnips will definitely turn heads, but don’t skip making this if you can’t find them. All radishes, if fresh, are snappy and full of the kind of subtle heat that makes this so memorable. When you bring them home, lob off their greens, wash them, and store them in damp paper towels inside a produce bag in the crisper drawer, where they will last for weeks--ready to pull out and delight with ease. (RECIPE BELOW)
Winter Radish and Kale Salad with Citrus and Herbs
½ bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large watermelon, diakon or black radish
1 large pink or white turnip
2 to 3 globe radishes
1 cara cara or navel orange
1 lemon, halved
1/3 cup torn mixed herbs, such as mint and dill
Flaky sea salt, such as maldon
Freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle about half your olive oil in a large metal bowl, and add the kale. Sprinkle the salt over the top and, with clean hands, massage the kale with the salt and oil until it is coated and begins to soften slightly.
While your kale chills out, thinly slice all the radishes with a sharp knife or a mandoline (if you’re using a mandoline, you can prop it right over your bowl, and let the radishes fall right in. If the radish bends and curls a little as it drops, it’s probably thin enough--but taste one and make sure it’s not so thick that it’s work to eat it.
Next, shave the skin and pitch off the orange with a sharp knife, preserving as much flesh as possible. Cut the orange into thin rounds and add to the bowl, along with any juices and the rest of the olive oil. Squeeze over half of the lemon (reserving more to serve with the salad). Toss together, adding the herbs, maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, just before serving (so the herbs stay perky and don’t wilt in the oil). Serve crisp and fresh.
Serves 2 to 4
Time: 15 minutes
**This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.** images belong to Sarah Copeland, and should not be pinned or posted without attribution. **
Photo // HARRISON LUBIN
Food + Prop Styling // SARAH COPELAND
Plate // HENRY STREET STUDIO