Radish Salad With Meyer Lemon, Feta and Fregola
I have had memorable radish dishes at two restaurants. One of the dishes was a creamy radish soup at Pelago in Chicago. The other was at Chez Georges, my favorite restaurant in Paris. Meals start with a small plate of crisp radishes with butter, salt and crispy baguette. Inspired by those two meals, I’ve created a radish salad with a creamy radish dressing. My favorite new plant based cheese is Violife “Just Like Feta” It is delicious but hard to find unless you live in a major city. Hopefully in 2019 more Violife products will be available all over the country. If you cannot find Violife “Just Like Feta”, substitute 2 tbsp of vegan mayonnaise or vegan sour cream, or leave out entirely. The salad dressing will be a bit less creamy and a bit more spicy. Fregola is an Italian semolina pasta. If you cannot find fregola, substitute orzo. I find fregola at Eataly or online at Amazon. I use a mandoline for slicing the radishes, cucumber and fennel for the salad. Overall this is a surprisingly delicate salad considering the amount of radishes used. You will have leftover dressing, which can be used for other salads.
Make the dressing – In a high speed blender, add all of the ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary.
Make the fregola – In a three quart pan, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add fregola and cook until tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
Prepare the salad ingredients and set aside.
Assemble the salad – On a decorative rectangular plate on in a shallow salad bowl, place the frisée and top with the fregola. Top with the sliced radishes, cucumber and fennel. Pour the dressing over. Garnish with fennel fronds and julienned radish greens, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a fresh baguette and Miyoko’s vegan butter.
serves four to six
RADISH SALAD DRESSING
- 4 red radishes, washed and trimmed, reserving the radish greens
- Half of a Meyer lemon, cut in small pieces and seeded
- 1 tbsp shallot, chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup chopped Violife “Just Like Feta” optional
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup fregola
- 1 large head of frisée, washed
- 1 medium watermelon radish, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 small black radish, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 large red radishes, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- Half of a medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced, reserve some fronds for garnish
- a crispy baguette
- Miyoko’s vegan butter