Wednesday, May 30, 2007

R is for Radish-Vegetable Wednesday

I've decided that going in order alphabetically doesn't make much sense for us. I'm working on a page where we can keep track and make sure that we hit every letter, and I'll be sure and link to it when it's ready. See, if I waited for R until we were there, it could be late July or August or even later and the radishes would not be what they are today. And that is sweet and wonderful. Yesterday I plucked the first handful of radishes out of my garden. There is something radically special about the first gleanings from the veggie patch. When I walked in the house with these gorgeous treasures, the kids got quite excited, and Abigail headed out to her garden and dutifully plucked one of her radishes.

The first words out of her mouth were "can I eat it?" Aha! She wants to eat a radish! Having not tried one yet myself, I did feel it fair to warn her that sometimes radishes can be "bitey", but then she cleaned it up, took a bite and declared it delicious. She savored that radish. We've had the perfect radish weather, as it's not been terribly hot, and these French Breakfast radishes have the tiniest bite, but mostly they are just sweet and crunchy. They're wonderful! And of course, needed to be used for dinner somehow. I turned to the current issue of Vegetarian Times which has several recipes I want to try and found a recipe for Couscous with Asparagus, Snow Peas, and Radishes. My Mom has an asparagus patch that is growing like crazy, so we headed over there for the daily picking, and the only thing I lacked was the snow peas. Chiding myself for not planting peas, we picked some up at the store and were in business.

This salad is light, refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. As is, it is completely vegan, although a carnivore probably could add some diced chicken or shrimp to the salad for a more substantial meal. But it was excellent as is. Andy ate two helpings, and I really considered it. Abigail enjoyed it and said I could pack some in her lunch. The only abstainer was Zander who has a touch of a cold or something and didn't really eat anyways. Abigail also liked the asparagus in this salad, even though it was blanched, I told her it was raw and she ate it up. Do try this salad- it's the perfect declaration of spring. The only changes I made to this salad was to eliminate the mint (not a fan) and I added a drizzle of olive oil. You could certainly leave that off, but I really think it added something. The fresh herbs are key though- so don't be clever and try to use dried, the fresh herbs combined with the lemon juice really sparkle.

I also should mention that my friend Joe at Culinary in The Country also made a couscous salad yesterday and his looks fabulous as well- so check that out if you have a chance.

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