Friday, May 25, 2012

Radish & Avocado Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

This past weekend, the farmer's market had some lovely looking radishes that I couldn't resist buying. I find most people think of radishes as being a tasteless, boring vegetable, used more as a garnish, and scraped to the side of their plate. I tend to disagree. I decided I would counter this attitude and feature them as one of the main ingredients in this quick and easy, light and refreshing salad. When sliced thin in salads, radishes add a nice bit of crunch and absorb whatever dressing you combine them with, making every bite delightfully flavorful. 

We were having tacos for dinner, so I thought a cilantro-lime vinaigrette would be a perfect combination with radishes and avocado. If you have a mandolin, slicing the radishes is lightning fast. Crumbled queso fresco or Cotija cheese (a hard cow's milk cheese) are fine accompaniments to this salad, and give it that added Mexican flare. A perfect starter to a spring dinner or main course lunch. We enjoyed this salad so much, I made it again the next day for a picnic in the park! 



For the dressing:
1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
Zest from 1 lime
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:
5 oz. arugula, well washed
1 bunch radishes (about 10 to 12), thinly sliced
2 avocados, cut into 1-inch cubes
Half a red onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. crumbled Cotija or queso fresco

To make the dressing, combine the cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, apple cider vinegar, and garlic in a glass jar (with a tight-fitting lid) large enough to hold the dressing. Pour in the olive oil, place the lid on the jar, and shake vigorously to mix the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste and shake again to incorporate. Taste to adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to use. 

In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, radishes, avocado, onion, and crumbled cheese. Give the dressing a good shake and pour (to taste) over the salad. Toss to incorporate. Garnish with a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  

Yield: 4 servings

  • This salad is also great with the addition of grilled shrimp or chicken.