Early May marks the beginning of real variety at local farmers’ markets in the mid-Atlantic region, including crunchy radishes which I recently picked up while wandering through Eastern Market on a recent Sunday. It was a big bunch of bright red radishes with their leaf greens already removed, which was too bad since I’m a big fan of trying to find the best way to prepare and serve random greens like radish and carrot greens. As I walked home I bit into one of the spicy crunchy delicacies, savoring this underrated taste of sprin.
One of my favorite ways to eat radishes is raw and undressed, either as a snack with lunch or dinner or sliced into a simple green salad. However, raw and undressed radishes, with their peppery bite, are not for everyone so I set about researching delicious ways to use radishes that would compliment the spicy taste without letting it overpower folks’ taste-buds. The first thing I tried was peas with red onions and sauteed radishes, which cut the bite of the radishes and made them a bit sweeter, but also made them soft and almost mushy which is not how a radish should be eaten. After some more research, including finding a Rachel Ray recipe for an apple and radish salad, I decided to do a radish and apple coleslaw recipe with a creamy dressing.
To complete this recipe you will need either a very steady hand and a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer with julienne capability (I received this one a few years ago from my step-sister Lindsey and am in love with it) to create the small matchstick-like pieces of radish and granny smith apple that make the recipe a coleslaw.
Radish & Apple Slaw with Cream Dill-Lemon Dressing
1 large granny smith apple
10 medium/large radishes
half a medium red onion
1 cup light sour cream
juice of 1 medium lemon, about ¼ cup
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon poppyseeds, optional
1) Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the apple and radishes into equally sized small matchstick shaped pieces. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of the lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown.
2) Cut the onion in half so you have 2 quarters of the onion and slice those thinly, so the sliced layers of the onion are similar in size and shape to the julienne apples and radishes. Add to bowl and toss to evenly incorporate.
3) Whisk together sour cream, remaining lemon juice, dill, salt & pepper. Add to apple, radish, and onion mixture.
4) Toss the fruit and veggies well to coat with the dressing.
5) Dish can be served immediately or stored in the fridge for several days. Do not be surprised in the dressing turns a slightly garish pink color, as the red skin of the radish does have that effect on the sour cream dressing.