Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
The first time I stumbled upon watermelon radishes was at the Berkeley Farmers Market, more than two years ago. She took a knife out from her back pocket and cut it open.
I was in awe. I took a paper bag and filled it with different sizes and shapes. I had no idea what to expect when I got home.
Tenderly, I took one of the radishes out of the crumpled bag, scrubbed the just-picked dirt off, and took a big bite. The spicy juices started to run down the corner of my mouth, and I was hooked. It was like my first kiss; wet, unknown, and a little bit spicy. I continued to slice a couple more, then I laid them on a plate and buttered a piece of still warm baguette. I put a couple vibrant slices onto the creamy butter and sprinkled Maldon salt over the top. It was perfect.
Since that first "kiss" some two years ago, watermelon radishes grace our table very often as an afternoon snack or mixed with tender greens for a dinner salad. Now that we are working from home, full-time, I am on the lookout for simple but delicious lunches. This salad is one of our favorites. It is full of sweet fennel and spicy watermelon radishes with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh squeezed Meyer lemons. It screams spring time, doesn’t it?
- 1 medium-sized bulb fennel, green fronds removed
- 3 small to medium-sized watermelon radishes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
- Maldon salt and black pepper, to taste
Recipe: Radish and Citrus Salad With Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Note: This radish and citrus salad explodes with color and flavor — sweet, tangy, peppery, crunchy. Mix it up, using any combination of citrus and radishes you like. All of the components may be made ahead and arranged just before serving. You’ll have additional vinaigrette that can be used by drizzling it over sautéed chicken, tossing with steamed broccoli or roasted sweet potatoes. Meyer lemons have a sweeter flavor than the more common lemon, which could be substituted. The Beauty Heart radish, also called a watermelon radish, is a mild-flavored variety with a pink interior. From Beth Dooley.
• 1/4 c. freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (see Note)
• 1/2 tsp. honey, or more to taste
• 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 Beauty Heart radishes (see Note)
• Lettuce leaves for garnish
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the vinaigrette: Place the lemon juice, honey and oil into a jar with a lid. Attach the lid and shake vigorously.
To make the salad: Peel the blood orange, grapefruit and orange, cut into pinwheels and remove any seeds.
Scrub the radishes and cut into matchstick-sized pieces.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on individual plates or a large platter. Arrange the citrus over the lettuce. Drizzle a little of the dressing over the citrus. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper over the salad.
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings (using total amount of half of dressing):
Escarole Citrus Salad with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
This winter escarole citrus salad is officially the star salad of the season! Featuring a variety of bright citrus like grapefruit, tangerine, and blood orange paired with fennel, radish, and creamy avocado. Lightly dressed with a robust and rich extra virgin olive oil Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
A huge thank you to the sponsors of this post, OXO, and California Olive Ranch . I love working with brands that I genuinely use in my healthy kitchen. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Abra’s Kitchen.
We have to talk about salads, like really talk about salads.
I have been eating a salad a day (or close to it) for as long as I can remember. My dinner table growing up was graced with a giant wooden salad bowl overflowing with yummy greens, every single night. Most nights, the salads were quite simple greens and an extra virgin olive oil based homemade salad dressing. Some nights the salad was the star, filled with a ton of vegetables and grains (like my mom‘s famous tabbouleh salad which was a family favorite). We didn’t grow up with jarred salad dressing, I didn’t even really understand what jar salad dressing was. Extra virgin olive oil, citrus, or vinegar was all that was needed.
That was my normal. I didn’t know if it was actually “normal”, but I didn’t care. It was just how my family ate every night.
I now crave salad. I need it and want it. If I go a few days without it, I feel weird, like something is off.
If I am traveling and away from my salad routine I literally drool on the trip home thinking about my salad, which is always the first thing I eat, no matter what time of day it is.
Whether you are a salad lover like me or you see salad as a “health food” that is good to have around, I have some thoughts, tips, and tools, that will make your salad making not only easier but superbly better.
Let’s start with this gorgeous winter citrus salad, so you know exactly what you have to look forward to:
- Bright juicy seasonal citrus
- Tender crunchy escarole (my favorite winter green!)
- Rich and fruity California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil paired with acidic and sweet Meyer lemon juice
- Thinly sliced radish and fennel
- Punchy chives
- Lots of creamy avocado
We could probably stop right here I’m already drooling!
But we will not, as we’ve got some more to do.
How to Make a Mouthwatering, Crave-able Salad:
Start with a base of greens. Mix up the kind of greens you use in a salad (oftentimes my salad is greens and greens alone). Escarole, green leaf, red leaf, frisee, radicchio, or kale – there are so many to choose from!
Add seasonal vegetables – In summer it is all about tomatoes and stone fruit , in fall I add roasted squash and cooked grain s , in winter, citrus is my jam, and spring begs for asparagus, beets , and berries .
Make a delicious dressing – That salad that was on my dinner table every night growing up was always dressed the same way extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, and red wine vinegar. In that order. I still make that dressing 90% of the time, my friends have come to love the “Pappa Salad” and really it’s all about good extra virgin olive oil and simple ingredients.
It is really that simple. Good ingredients.
Well, good ingredients and tools that make it even easier to get fresh, healthy, seasonal ingredients on the table quickly.
My favorite salad making tools:
- Salad Spinner – My love for a salad spinner runs deep. Like really deep. It is on my list of essential kitchen tools. It is the tool I tell every single client that they need to have in their kitchen. A salad spinner is not only essential for salad making but I wash all of my greens in it so they don’t get soggy kale, collards, swiss chard, and beet greens. All. Of. My. Greens. I have used an OXO Salad Spinner for as long as I can remember. It is my trusty sidekick that makes eating daily doses of delicious greens easy, and do-able.
- Excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil – My grandpa taught me one very important lesson – dress your salad greens with olive oil. Good olive oil. Excellent olive oil. This is an ingredient that deserves attention. I was first introduced to California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil a few months ago and I am beyond smitten! California Olive Ranch partners with olive producers in California, Chile, Argentina, and Portugal who share in their sustainable farming practices and high standards. I used their Destination Series Rich & Robust extra virgin olive oil for this recipe and the flavor was extraordinary! You can also try their Destination Series Everyday, and Mild & Buttery.
- Salad Dressing Shaker – I’m sure you’ve caught on by now that I am all about homemade salad dressing. As in, I literally NEVER purchase it from the store. The OXO Salad Dressing Shaker is my new BFF in the salad making world. I have been making extra large batches of dressing and storing them in the fridge in this handy shaker for the next day‘s celebration of greens. I love how OXO is always finding ways to make their tools as user-friendly as possible. The Salad Dressing Shaker has handy measurements on the side, which is genius! Also, the top stays nice and snug so I can vigorously shake and emulsify my olive oil vinaigrette.
In the health food world, there is always a new craze to follow, a new trend (don’t even get me started on celery juice!), or diet that is IT, but there is one simple truth that remains constant – eat more vegetables. We can all agree that adding in more fresh seasonal food is a good thing to do. Pair those fresh vegetables with super high-quality extra virgin olive oil because remember that there are fat-soluble nutrients in greens. This means you should eat greens with fat so your body can absorb those nutrients!
Get started with this beautiful escarole citrus salad with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. I know you will love it!
Waldorf Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
An especially refreshing, crisp and festive Waldorf Salad replacing the usual mayonnaise with a light Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. A beautiful salad, perfect for the holiday table in shades of green, red and white. Staying crisp and delicious for hours, Waldorf Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette works well on a buffet. Vegan and naturally gluten-free.
Inspired and adapted from a recipe by Chef Mark Peel.
Makes 6-8 servings Printer-Friendly Recipe
Total time 30 minutes
½ cup walnut halves and pieces
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon high-quality salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 twists freshly ground pepper
1 watermelon radish, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup) or a few large regular radishes
1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts (the center celery stalks)
¼ cup chopped inner celery leaves
¼ cup sweetened, dried red cherries or fruit-juice sweetened dried cranberries
1 large (8 ounce) Fuji apple
2 ½ cups large diced radicchio or ½ inch sliced Belgian endive
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce hearts (4 ounces)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the walnuts for 7 minutes until fragrant. Let the walnuts cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- To make the Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette: combine the shallot, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt in a 1 cup jar. Let this mixture sit for at least 5 minutes to reduce the sharpness of the shallot. Then add the oil and freshly ground pepper. Put the lid on the jar and give it a good shake to emulsify the dressing. Transfer the dressing to a large salad bowl.
- Add the sliced radish, celery stalks and leaves, and dried cherries or cranberries to the bowl and toss with the dressing.
- Quarter and core the apple. Then thinly slice each quarter crosswise. Add the apple slices to the bowl and toss with the dressing.
- Just before serving, toss the sliced radicchio or endive along with the shredded romaine and walnuts in the dressing. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, preferably Meyer lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped chervil or parsley
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 jumbo asparagus stalks, peeled
- 6 baby carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas (2 ounces), trimmed
- 4 cups packed assorted baby lettuce leaves or mesclun (3 ounces)
- 4 radishes, julienned
- 2 white mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb&mdashhalved, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 Kirby or Japanese cucumber, julienned
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, cut into 2-by-1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup pea sprouts or broccoli sprouts
- 1/4 cup raw cashew halves
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil, chervil and honey and season with salt and pepper.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and carrots and cook until the asparagus is bright green and the carrots are barely tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus and carrots to a platter. Add the sugar snap peas to the saucepan and cook until they turn bright green, about 30 seconds transfer to the platter. Cut the sugar snap peas into julienne strips. Halve the asparagus stalks lengthwise, then halve the asparagus pieces crosswise.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, asparagus, carrots, sugar snap peas, radishes, mushrooms, fennel, cucumber, avocado, sprouts and cashews. Add the vinaigrette and toss well. Serve right away.
Quick Caesar Dressing You Will Love!
This method takes away the raw egg yet adds all the zesty flavors! Add all ingredients to a bowl, whisk in extra virgin olive oil until nicely emulsified. Ingredients you will use: Fresh garlic, grainy mustard & dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, grated parmesan cheese, natural mayonnaise, anchovies, freshly cracked pepper and extra [&hellip]
Chopped Winter Salad With Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
This salad is intended to lift your spirits on a cold, gloomy day. Mix and match the ingredients, and substitute at will: puntarelle rather than radicchio pear for apple pepitas instead of sunflower seeds. For added protein, stir in shredded or chopped cooked chicken, white beans, or canned (drained) tuna.
Serve it in radicchio cups with soup. The sturdy lettuces hold well at room temperature, retaining both crunch and color for a couple of hours.
Make Ahead: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated up to 4 hours in advance. Shake to re-emulsify and bring to room temperature before using. Chop the vegetables and fruit, then toss in lemon juice up to an hour before serving toss them with the dressing just before serving.
When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.
For the vinaigrette: Juice 3 of the lemon halves into a small jar. Add the shallot and salt let the mixture sit for 5 minutes (to slightly pickle the shallot), then add the honey and white pepper. Seal and shake lightly to blend, then add the oil. Seal and shake again, vigorously, to form an emulsified dressing. Taste and add more lemon juice, oil, honey, salt and/or pepper, as needed.
For the salad: Reserve 8 bowl-shaped leaves from the heads of radicchio, each about the size of your palm. Working with a few at a time, stack and roll up the remaining leaves, then cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and add them to a large salad bowl as you go.
As you prep the next ingredients, add them to the bowl, too. Stack the endive leaves, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Cut the celery ribs lengthwise in half, and then cut into 1/2-inch wide slices (add the leaves too). Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise, discard the core and dice each half into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut the apple in half, discarding the core cut the halves into slim wedges and then cut all those crosswise in half. Cut the radishes into very thin rounds.
Use your clean hands to toss together the salad ingredients in the bowl. To keep the components from browning, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon half (or what's left of it) over them and toss gently to coat.
When ready to serve, add half the vinaigrette to the salad and toss gently to coat. Taste, and add more of the vinaigrette as needed. Garnish with sunflower seeds and the reserved fennel fronds. If you are serving the salad at a buffet or at the table, place the reserved radicchio leaves on a pretty platter and fill each with about 3/4 cup of salad. Garnish each with a reserved fennel frond or two.
NOTE: Toast the sunflower seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.
Avocado, Beauty Heart Radish Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
- Description: This is a winter-worthy salad that will provide a glimpse of summer with its brilliant complexion and lively flavor.
Recommendations and tips: Meyer lemon season is fleeting and they are not cheap. Make a fair substitute by combining equal parts freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice.
Beauty heart radishes may be found at any grocery that stocks local produce or a winter farmers market.
Make-ahead: Make vinaigrette up to two days in advance.
Variations: Serve additional people by increasing the avocado, eggs and radishes - there is enough vinaigrette for several servings.
To keep the salad vegan, omit eggs and substitute agave or maple syrup for honey.
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt to taste
Meyer lemon vinaigrette (see recipe)
For Meyer lemon vinaigrette (makes about 2 cups):
¾ cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chili flakes (crushed red pepper)
Slice radish into paper-thin slices. A mandoline works great, or alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to create thin shavings. Place half of the slices on each plate.
Slice avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut into slices and carefully remove from skin with a spoon. Lay half on each plate, on top of radishes.
Use a large-holed cheese grater to grate one egg over each salad. Season well with coarse salt and drizzle with Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
Meyer lemon vinaigrette:
Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well, or whisk together lemon juice, honey and chili flakes. Add oil in a thin stream while whisking until dressing is combined.
Beet and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing
Jump to Recipe for Beet and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing
Earlier this year, we made this refreshing and crunchy beet and fennel salad for Valentine’s Day. We don’t make this as often as we want to, for fear that we would get tired of it. Honestly, we probably wouldn’t, though it’s always nice to have something extra delicious on special days like *Love Day*.
Here’s some more honesty, while we’re at it. I used to not like beets. As a kid, the only thing I was exposed to were canned beets. They were soft, tasteless, and the dark red color made me question its existence. I kept grabbing a scoop of the stuff from salad bars and potlucks, thinking that my tastebuds would change however, I just couldn’t get past how it dyed all of my neighboring foods bright pink, making me not want to eat anything on my plate. I know, I was one of those weird kids that didn’t like my foods touching each other.
It was only after I discovered eating a baked beet salad that I grew to love them. And when you add something to balance their amazingly sweet flavor, it turns into an excellent salad!
We’re excited to share this recipe with you, and hope that you begin to appreciate how beautiful beets can be! It’s been great eating this during the transitional months from winter to spring, marrying root vegetables with fennel bulbs, and loving how bright and cheery this dish is on the dinner table.
Roast Parsnip Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. I'm assured it will work in the new Digg Reader. Thanks for visiting!
A quick sunny afternoon roast parsnip salad. Usually when I think of parsnips I think of winter. Snow on the ground, sweet roasted parsnips and a nice plate of roast beef is a great thing to behold. Today however it’s warm(ish), sunny and spring-like. I want to play on the same sweetness of the parsnip that goes so well with honey and use something sunnier.
Meyer Lemons, a cross between a true lemon and an orange are perfect for this: they are sharp and sweet and just plain yummy. They are a wonderful taxicab yellow on the outside with a delicious non-bitter zest and juicy sweet on the inside. A simple vinaigrette made with olive oil and this is like a rich coating of springtime on your salad just the thing.
To add a bit of crunch to the parsnips I dusted them in the roasted rice powder I bought last week. I’m experimenting with a new ingredient and trying it in all sorts of dishes. So far it’s worked really well. It gave the roast parsnip salad a bit of grittiness in a good way. You could easily substitute it for a little fine cornmeal or leave it out altogether though.
The other elements of the salad were things I had to hand. A few peppery arugula leaves from the garden, some grilled scallions and a poached egg to top it off. I added some shavings of the most delicious cheese that I picked up as a bargain buy at the food coop this week. It’s a Venetian cheese called Ubriaco Prosecco. This cheese is washed in gallons of prosecco and right now when I open my fridge I’m greeted by wafts of winey goodness. It’s a little sweet, a little crumbly and very very good in this dish. You could swap it out for pecorino, parmesan or really any hard cheese you have at arm’s reach.
I’ve grown to really love the sort of relatively free-form cooking that resulted in this roast parsnip salad. A layering of a few things you like. Things you sense will get on well in the bowl, and most importantly things you have to hand in the fridge so you don’t have to brave the store on a hot day. Enjoy it, mix it up and relish the warm weather to come!