A fresh summer salad from my garden is defined daily by whatever is "ready to pick". Today, in the sweltering heat, I quickly watered and plucked a handful of radishes and some rosemary before escaping indoors to prepare a simple salad lunch. Radishes aren't always the easiest vegetables to insert into a recipe. Generally speaking we eat them as they are, perhaps with a little olive oil (or butter - eek!) and salt, but the radish I have this year are super spicy and require a morcel of attention. Historically, radishes (which have been around in culinary terms for over 1000 years) have the role of “clearing the taste & preparing for food and drink” (Grigson, Vegetable Book ) and should be eaten raw and without much fuss. The combination that follows is a crunchy, peppery, sweet and sour salad with a hint of fragrance from the fresh rosemary. I added tiny cubes of aged Comté cheese which deliver an earthiness and complementary texture.
Radish, Apple and Comté Salad (serves 4 as a light appetizer)
- 8 medium radishes, sliced thinly into circles
- 1 granny smith apple, cored, quatered and sliced thinly lengthways
- 1 shallot, quatered and sliced thinly
- 8 oz Comté cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
- salt and pepper
Jane McKay is a member of the Merchant Park Community Garden - "a backyard for us all."
Merchant Park Community Garden (MPCG) strives to provide an opportunity for neighbors and their children to work, play, learn and grow together. MPCG is not only for the benefit of our members, but also aims to benefit the community at large through outreach efforts such as donations to local food pantries. In short, MPCG is an oasis in the 30th ward - a backyard for us all.
Everything we grow is within 8' x 8' raised beds, constructed by the members in May 2011. Each raised bed has a dedicated owner for a year and all of our produce is organically grown.