Maybe it’s the fact that I just returned from a year-long sabbatical in Spain, or the fact that I love radishes in winter, but after deciding to do my Berkeley Bowl Challenge my legs walked me straight over to the Black Spanish Radish. This little black bugger has been staring me down for years. At first I thought it was a type of truffle. Then I thought it was a beet. Nope, it’s just a really, really, realllllly black radish.
After years of thinking about this dark and mysterious member of the brassica family, I have finally brought him home with me for my first recipe featuring an exotic veggie. I took a small nibble to see what I was dealing with. My wheels started to turn, trying to think up a recipe that would incorporate something so peppery and, well, black. This calls for tangy and sweet, don’t you think? I decided that pickled kumquats are exactly what my Spanish radish needs.
As I let my kumquats pickle, I read up on the Spanish Black Radish to feed my dietitian brain. According to some studies and sites I perused, it’s quite a nutritional powerhouse; full of vitamins and minerals and with some unique perks for the thyroid and liver.
With my kumquats perfectly pickled, all that was left to do was slice up the radish on my mandolin, whisk together a dressing, and bejewel a bed of arugula with the goodies. The result was delicious, both visually and taste-budly. I hope you enjoy it as a quick lunch or light dinner as much as I did.
Black Radish Salad with Pickled Kumquats (5 minutes)
- 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- Juice and zest from 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- 1 bag-full of arugula
- 1/4c pickled kumquat slices (recipe below)
- 2 black spanish radishes, sliced thinly (a mandolin works best)
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
To make the dressing, put the first seven ingredients into a jar with a lid. Shake the contents of the jar until the ingredients are combined and then taste to adjust the seasoning.
Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top. When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing on top and toss the salad lightly to coat.
Pickled kumquats (5 minutes)
- 1 cup kumquats
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 peppercorns
- 3 cardamom pods
Trim the ends off each kumquat and slice each into about 3-4 discs. Combine them with all the remaining ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the contents into a jar to cool and to use on the salad later.