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You might say this is one unappetizing vegetable, right? Well, it may be, but the black radish will also put a brand new, spicy taste on your plate. This little orb is uncommonly seen in the home garden and farmers market, so imagine my wide-eyed look when one of my local farmers, Emily Mostue at Dunbar Farms, handed me a bag of these last week during my CSA pick-up.

After searching the web, I discovered the black radish can be one hot option to the more common red and white varieties. For best results, though, select small younger radishes harvested (even after the first frost), peel the thin, tough skin, and use a mandolin to achieve super thin slices. The more time the black radish spends underground, the tougher the skin and flesh can become. Grow them yourself or find them early in the season at farmers markets.

Black Radish and Apple Chopped Salad with Lemon and Mint

Serves 3.

Ingredients

1 medium black radish, julienned

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 Granny Smith apple, cut in half and cut into very thin slices

1 large carrot, julienned

1/2 stalk of celery, very thinly sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds

drizzle of fruity olive oil

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint

Sea salt, to taste

Directions

Combine radish and lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. When softened a bit, add apple and carrot. Drizzle with olive oil to moisten all ingredients. Stir in sunflower seeds. Sprinkle with mint and salt to taste.

For a warm mellow taste, here are a few recipes you can try for a warm, mellow dish:

And for all you daring cooks and Mario Batali fans who just happen to have leftover chicken skin in your frig (and even if you don’t!):

Photo: Barb Magee