Monday, April 30, 2012

Radishes, Snap Peas and Mint -- Spring in a Bowl

Radishes are all the rage.  Have you noticed?  As the Farmer's Markets begin to open here in the North East, you are sure to see them in their array of colors: red, pink, purple, white and even green and black. A member of the Brasscicaceae family (along with cabbage, broccoli, and mustard) the radish has a rapid germination period -- going from seed to plant in 3 days. Talk about an over-achiever!

The following recipe highlights two of my favorite vegetables: radish and snap pea, with a dollop of cheese*, and a citrus dressing. A colorful homage to spring......

Radish, Snap Pea and Mint Salad (adapted from the NYT, 6/12/2009)

3/4 cup sliced radishes (about 4)
1 1/4 cups sliced Snap Peas (slice on the diagonal in half or thirds)
1 cup Ricotta Salata, crumbled or 4 ounces 'wet' Ricotta
1/3 Cup torn mint leaves

1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon White Balsamic Vinegar (dark balsamic is okay too)
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine Rashes, Peas, Mint and Ricotta in salad bowl.

Make a paste with the garlic and salt, using a mortar and pestle, a molcajete, or the back of a spoon. In a small bowl combine the paste, juice, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and pepper, to taste.
Pour 1/2 of dressing over salad, season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining dressing depending on how wet you like your salads to be.

*I mistakenly purchased 'wet' Ricotta at the store -- the type typically used in pasta dishes. So, that is what is pictured above. Ricotta Salata is a hard, white cheese with a nutty, salty flavor. It is up to you which one to choose! I think you might want to use all of the dressing if you select Ricotta Salata, but I would still add it gradually.

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