Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recipe for Cucumber and Radish Salad with Feta, Red Wine Vinegar, and Buttermilk Dressing

Cucumber and Radish Salad with Feta, Red Wine Vinegar, and Buttermilk DressingIf you saw the garden update where I picked all those radishes, you might not be too surprised to see a salad with radishes popping up here. I love radishes, especially the mild ones you get from the garden, and I've had fun trying recipes with them through the years. It took a bit of experimenting to get this recipe just right; feedback from recipe testers on the first two attempts asked for smaller pieces, more feta, and less vinegar flavor in the vinaigrette, and I thought those changes made the salad better. I used small, crisp Persian cucumbers in the final version to make the radishes and cucumbers both equally crunchy in the salad. Garden cucumbers would also be good here, but I wouldn't use large watery cucumbers with a lot of seeds. The Persian cucumbers didn't need to be salted to draw out water, and that kept the leftover salad good in a fridge for a day, so they were a perfect choice to make this.

Cut four Persian cucumbers in half lengthwise, then into half-moon slices about 1/2 inch thick. I didn't peel the Persian cucumbers, but if you don't have this thin-skinned type of cucumber, you might want to peel some strips of skin off.

Trim stem and root ends of radishes and wash, then cut radishes in half lengthwise and cut into slices just slightly thinner than the cucumber pieces.

I adapted a Creamy Feta-Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing recipe from David Lebovitz to make the dressing. Start by mashing together feta, red wine vinegar, and chopped fresh thyme.

Then stir in 1 T olive oil and 2 T buttermilk and stir the dressing together. I loved the tang of buttermilk in this, but if you're not a buttermilk fan you could use milk, or water like David did.

Stir the dressing into the cucumber-radish mixture, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve the salad with a bit more crumbled feta sprinkled on top.


Cucumber and Radish Salad with Feta, Red Wine Vinegar, and Buttermilk Dressing

(Makes about 4 servings, dressing recipe adapted from Creamy Feta-Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing from David Lebovitz.)

Ingredients:
4 small Persian cucumbers (or other small cucumbers without large seeds)
10-12 large radishes
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 T olive oil
2 T buttermilk (or use regular milk or water)

Instructions:
Cut ends off cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into half-moon slices about 1/4 inch thick. Wash radishes and trim ends, then cut in half lengthwise and cut into half-moon slices just slightly thinner than cucumbers. Put cucumbers and radishes into salad bowl.

Put 1/2 cup crumbled feta into a bowl or measuring cup. Add chopped fresh thyme and red wine vinegar and mash slightly with a fork. (I agreed with David that it was nice to leave it a little chunky.) Stir in olive oil and buttermilk (or use regular milk or water if you prefer.)

Stir the dressing into the salad. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper (I didn't use much salt.) Serve with the extra 1/4 cup crumbled feta sprinkled over the salad.

This will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but it's better freshly made.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other low-glycemic eating plan. It would be great with something like Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce or Grilled Halibut with Garlic-Cilantro Sauce.

More Interesting Ideas with Radishes:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, Cucumbers, and Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Radishes with Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Seed from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sauteed Radishes with Vinegar and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Crunchy Chopped Salad with Gorgonzola and Radishes from Kalyn's Kitchen
Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Dressing from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Radish Recipe from White on Rice Couple
Quinoa with Roasted Radishes and Pearl Onions from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Sauteed Radishes and Sugar Snaps with Dill from Smitten Kitchen
Salad with Roasted Radishes, Roasted Shallots, and Shrimp from Stephen Cooks
Black Radish Chips from Chocolate and Zucchini
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit

23 comments:

Cookin' Canuck said...

Your radish recipes always make me want to run out and buy a bunch of them (or raid a neighbor's garden). This dressing is inspired!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

My husband is a big radish fan! I don't mind them but I forget to buy them. This looks awesome, I'll book mark it to try, thanks!

myfrenchkitchen said...

Looks SO good Kalyn!
ronelle

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous colors. So excited that radishes are in season.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love radishes - the only ones I had last summer were a fat bunch that a farmer pulled out of the ground for me in Upstate NY. Those tasted particularly good, given the circumstances, as I'm sure the ones from your garden do.

Kalyn said...

Home-grown radishes are just the best! Glad people are liking the sound of this.

lydia@Ninecooks.com said...

The colors are fantastic, and as I'm a butternut fan, I'm definitely adding this to my summer menus.

sharon said...

very nice information and look forward to reading more and great recipes.

Joanne said...

This dressing sounds delicious! This whole thing sounds so refreshing.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

One will never run out of great salad recipes with your blog, Kalyn! This one looks great, too. I'm ready to try radishes again. I've never had mild radishes actually. They always seemed pretty potent to me, but maybe I haven't been exposed to the right ones yet. Love all the colors in this salad. It's the right time of year for everything cucumber. :-) I just made "bruschetta" using cucumber. :-)


Shirley

the constant hunger said...

Mmm. Looks delicious. I think I would substitute the buttermilk for Greek yogurt instead. It has a nice thick consistency but healthier. Thanks, Kalyn!

Sophie said...

A lovely summer's salad, dear Kalyn!! yeah!!!

Amanda said...

This looks wonderful Kalyn. You have so many great salad ideas!

Mary said...

The colors in the finished salad are really lovely. You've given me food for thought. I have no recipes for radishes in my files. This recipe is a great place to start. I hope you are having a wonderful day, Kalyn. Blessings...Mary

neil said...

The really cold weather has settled in here, yet I strangely find myself craving your salad!

The combination of crunch and sharp sounds inspired and a friend found for me a tin of real Bulgarian feta, off to the greengrocer I think.

Anonymous said...

yum!
Chef Chuck

Margot said...

Lovely and healthy recipe, like always Kalyn. That is what I should eat instead of eating leftover chocolate peanut and caramel cake for supper and breakfast!!

Lynda said...

This sounds and looks like a delightful summer salad with a refreshing combination of ingredients. I like the use of the buttermilk dressing!

Diana's Cocina said...

What a lovely salad. I have so many cucumbers and now i know what I will be making with them.

clp said...

This was delicious. Even someone who didn't like radishes had seconds!

Kalyn said...

clp, I love hearing that I am inspiring people to try (and like) radishes!

Anonymous said...

I'm an addict of Feta cheese cold salad recipes. Keep the radishes for at least a day in cold water in the frig to make them crisp. To any red wine vinegar + XV olive oil dressing ... puhleeze add 1/8 tsp of Coleman's yellow dry mustard per cruet. Too much is bitter, too little is missing 'the secret'. I've got the radishes... I'm heading out tomorrow for the cucumbers to try this.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, interesting idea to add some dry mustard to this mixture. Will have to try it.

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