If you were paying attention yesterday you might have predicted something with radishes was coming today after I visited the Salt Lake City Farmers Market and came home with three kinds of radishes. No farmers market where you are? Use radishes from your favorite store.
Do you have any idea how many kinds of radishes there are? I was quite amazed at all the varieties, and apparently these are Purple Plum radishes or Plum Purple Radishes, depending on who you ask. Whatever you call them, they're delicious, large, and mild radishes with great crispness and a pleasant flavor. I'd definitely buy them again. They were perfect for this salad, which was slightly adapted from a recipe made by the bubbly Rachel Ray on the Food Network. This is a salad for people who love the sharp, licoricey flavor of Thai basil, so if you're not excited about that flavor you might want to substitute cilantro or mint for the basil.
Radish and Cucumber Salad with Peppers and Thai Basil
(Makes 4 servings, adapted slightly from this recipe on the Food Network.)
3-4 large Purple Plum radishes or 8-10 regular red radishes (original recipe called for white radishes)
3 small cucumbers
1 red bell pepper (or use half red, half yellow like I did)
20-40 Thai basil leaves (or use regular fresh basil)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2-3 T Splenda, sugar, or half Splenda/half sugar
2 T peanut oil or other mild flavored oil
1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or use your favorite hot sauce, use more or less to taste.)
sea salt, to taste
Wash radishes, cut in fourths lengthwise, then slice into thick slices. Wash cucumbers, cut off ends, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into thick slices. (You may need to peel them if you use cucumbers from the store.) Cut ends off red pepper, remove seeds, then cut into short strips.
In large mixing bowl with a lid, combine rice vinegar, Splenda or sugar, and oil and whisk together. (I find that some brands of rice vinegar are much more tart than others, so I'd start with less Splenda or sugar and add more until it tastes sweet enough to you.) Add desired amount of Aleppo pepper, Cayenne, or hot sauce to dressing and mix well. (Again, add and taste until it tastes as hot as you want it.)
Add cut radishes, cucumbers, and peppers to dressing and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour or two. Just before serving, wash basil leaves and chop coarsely or tear. Add basil to salad, mix to combine, season with sea salt if desired, and serve immediately.
(Edit, next day - This did not keep particularly well in the refrigerator, so you may want to cut the recipe in half.)
South Beach Suggestions:
Made with Splenda, this is a perfect salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase two or three, you might substitute some the Splenda for sugar, since it's a small amount of sugar (you aren't eating most of the dressing) and I think the combination of Splenda with a bit of sugar gives a better flavor. This would taste great with Thai Barbecue Chicken with Cilantro or Soy-Grilled Shrimp and Asian Vegetables.
More Salads with Radishes:
(Salads from other blogs may or may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients)
Crunchy Chopped Salad with Gorgonzola and Radishes
Broccoli and Radish Salad with Gorgonzola
Asian Snow Pea Salad with Radishes and Edamame
Cilantro-Lover's Leftover Chicken Salad
Radish Walnut Salad with Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette from Christine Cooks
Snap Pea, Radish, and Asparagus Salad from Beyond Salmon
Daikon and Pepper Salad from A Veggie Venture