Watermelon radishes blow my mind! They are the epitome of the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover". I honestly skim past them every year when they hit the shelves at the market, their grayish orb-like body just sort of blends in among the more vibrant veggies on display.
However, if your grocer is as smart as mine is they will have one cut open on display to catch your eye. I could ogle the beauty of a watermelon radish for quite some time honestly. Every single slice reveals a slightly different circular striation of pink and magenta which leaves me wanting to know what the next slice will reveal.
As far as flavor and texture goes watermelon radishes are tender and succulent with a slightly peppery flavor mixed with sweet notes. They can be as small as a golf ball or as big like a softball and are perfect for making quick pickles to toss into salads.
Salads don't get much prettier than this one! Tender sweet greens, tangy pickled radishes, and fresh fennel tossed with cucumbers, pomegranate, green apple, and toasted pepitas. Then to top it all a healthy drizzle of citrus dressing that will knock your socks off.
Pickled Watermelon Radish, Sweet Greens, Fennel, & Pomegranate SaladPrint
- Yield: 4 as a main or 6-8 as a side 1x
For the dressing
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
- 2 teaspoons light agave
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
For the watermelon radish pickles
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 small watermelon radish
For the salad
- 12 ounces sweet lettuce ( I used a mix of bibb, romaine, & butter lettuces) torn into bite sized pieces.
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
- 3 ounces pickled radish slices (about 10-12 slices)
- ¾ cup fennel, sliced thin on a mandolin
- ⅓ cup fennel fronds
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup shredded green apple
- ⅓ cup toasted pepitas
Make the dressing
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid combine the zest, juice, vinegar, mustard, agave, salt, and pepper. Close tightly and shake vigorously until combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the pickled radishes
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Place the lid tightly on the jar and shake until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Use a mandolin to slice the watermelon radish in uniform slices that are paper thin. transfer the radish slices to the jar with the brine, seal tightly, shake to distribute the brine in between the radish slices, and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.
Build your salad
- Spread the lettuces across a large platter, sprinkle with cucumber, radish slices,and fennel slices. Sprinkle the salad with the fennel fronds, pomegranate seeds, shredded green apple, and pepitas. Serve with the dressing on the side.
- Alternatively, toss all of the ingredients into a large salad bowl. Pour ¼ of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately with the remaining dressing on the side.