Who Knew A Radish Could Be So Good?

Who Knew A Radish Could Be So Good?

If you are unfamiliar, watermelon radishes are supremely beautiful. Their deep pink/magenta color is eye-catching and adds a real pop to any ordinary salad. Watermelon radishes are actually considered a heirloom Chinese Daikon radish and a member of the mustard family (along with arugula, broccoli and turnips–who knew!). Typically, watermelon radishes are available during the spring and fall, since they are a cool season crop. Overly warm temperatures can affect the radish’s mild flavor, turning it rather bitter–I learned this the hard way.

I was first introduced to a watermelon radish when it appeared on a brine-pickled vegetable board my husband and I ordered at Nick Balla and Cortney Burns’ well-know (but now closed) Bar Tartine in San Francisco. Since then, I have noticed its popularity and availability has increased. Its flesh is tender yet crisp, and its flavor is mild, with a slight peppery note. Depending on when it is harvested, watermelon radishes can vary in size from a golf ball to a baseball. This lesser-known radish can be eaten fresh (which is what I prefer) or cooked, and it goes well with various other vegetables, such as fennel, apple, cucumbers, mild greens and soft cheeses like Feta and chèvre.

Both my husband and I are big salad eaters. We eat them almost daily. I am however, somewhat picky about my salads, I like them interesting and I like them to look beautiful. A nice presentation is important. This was further engrained in me during culinary school, when I had to log countless hours carving vegetables into very precise shapes and sizes.

I came up with this easy little salad for my husband, who has always been a radish lover. One of the best salads he ever had was also at Bar Tartine. It consisted of fresh radishes, homemade sweet cream butter and flake salt. I actually thought he was crazy when he ordered it; but the waitress was right, it was incredible. Sometimes, the most basic recipe really is the best. Despite trying, I could not recreate that perfect radish and butter salad, (primarily because I do not grow my own radishes, or make my own butter); but I created this one instead. I make this often: it’s easy and I typically have all of these ingredients in my refrigerator. My kids also like this salad. Well, they like everything except the radishes. That is still a work in progress. But they’ll get there eventually.

Cucumber Radish Salad

April 3, 2017
: 4
: 20 min
: 20 min
: easy


  • 6 Persian cucumbers, cleaned, but not peeled
  • 1 medium watermelon radish, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 bunch red radishes, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1/4 red small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Step 1 Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and place the flat side on a cutting board. Cut cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Step 2 Cut the watermelon radish in half. Slice into thin, 1/8-inch slices and place in bowl with cucumbers.
  • Step 3 Cut red radishes in half, and cut into thin slices. Add to other vegetables. Add the sliced onion.
  • Step 4 Cut the grape tomatoes lengthwise and add to bowl.
  • Step 5 Right before serving, gently toss the vegetables with the extra virgin olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Step 6 Place in a serving bowl and garnish with crumbled Feta cheese.

Related Posts

Din Tai Fung Style Chilled Cucumber Salad

Din Tai Fung Style Chilled Cucumber Salad

My family and I are obsessed with Din Tai Fung, a famous Taiwanese restaurant with at Santa Clara outpost that we frequent.  My husband is the only one of us who has been to Taiwan, which is partly how this obsession began. Once a restaurant […]

Riced Cauliflower With Leeks, Kale And Walnuts

Riced Cauliflower With Leeks, Kale And Walnuts

Cauliflower has become one of my favorite vegetables.  With its “riced” form, readily available almost anywhere, it has become even easier to cook.  Because of its mild flavor, there are virtually unlimited options to keep this cruciferous vegetable interesting. As I have gotten older, I […]

3 thoughts on “Who Knew A Radish Could Be So Good?”

  • I made this salad last night- super easy and beautiful- and for my own portion I added in toasted chick peas to make it into my main course. What a light and satisfying meal!

  • We get these watermelon radishes in our CSA box and have been at a loss for something interesting to do with them… no longer… cannot wait to try this recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.