Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

It didn't take very much imagination to make this dish; I was admiring the bright, red berries just arrived in their teal cardboard cartons when I spied bunches of similar ...

IMG_9284
It didn’t take very much imagination to make this dish; I was admiring the bright, red berries just arrived in their teal cardboard cartons when I spied bunches of similar round objects sitting nearby at the Greenmarket. Craving something crunchy to off-set the strawberries’ sweet softness and juice, I had already picked up a bag of granola — and some yogurt, too. But radishes, in a fresh, crisp salad to surround them instead? I thought, hey, why not?

IMG_9254the best time ever for strawberries

Yes, strawberries have finally arrived, after a slow spring growing season in this region. They’re worth waiting for if only to serve as a reminder that this type of strawberry can exist. (Compared to strawberries that are available year-round anywhere, in-season, local strawberries are on steroids in terms of taste.) It wasn’t a funky, rare or heirloom variety of strawberry that the New Jersey-based Kernan Farms had at Grand Army Plaza today, but just a darn good, ripe, red, juicy strawberry. They were solid. And I was sold.

This isn’t the type of dish you’d want to use strawberries from the bottom of the bushel with, a few days old in the fridge. Save those for making some jam or a pie with. This is the kind of dish you’d want to make with a new pile of firm ones, after biting the first few on the top right off their stems. Strawberries just don’t stay like this very long, so this salad really celebrates their pristine state.

IMG_9259just-dug radishes lose their tops

IMG_9265and are cut into wedges, like the strawberries, too

Think of the strawberries as being used more or less like tomatoes here. They provide the sweetness, now you just have to balance it with something tart, and let their intensity drive something else. In this case, it was radishes, but I thought this combination was particularly apt because of the ingredients’ too-cute likeness in color and size. Balsamic vinegar was the immediate choice for some extra acidity; Italians have made strawberries and this a classic. Then, for some lightness and vibrant green contrast, I added some sprigs of fresh, flat-leaved parsley.

IMG_9271a drip of balsamic vinegar

There are some herbs that you really don’t want to eat the stems of, since they’re woody. Then there are others, like parsley, whose crisp, slender stems are delightful when kept on. I kept the stems on for this salad and served them pretty much whole (save for tearing the sprigs through the middle just once so I wouldn’t have to twirl them like spaghetti with my fork).

IMG_9275before giving it all one quick toss

Of course, it didn’t need anything but a drizzle of olive oil to tie it all together. Forget salt, pepper, or — god forbid — sugar when you’re dealing with such fresh, perfect produce like this.

Strawberry and Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Parlsey
(makes 4 servings)

1/2 lb fresh, ripe, juicy, unblemished strawberries (preferably just in season and local so as to be super-sweet and ripe)
1/2 lb fresh sparkler radishes
about 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
about 1 tablespoon of your best extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch Italian or flat-leaved parlsey

Trim the stems off both the strawberries and radishes. Cut radishes into quarters and do the same with the strawberries if they’re large; small-medium-sized strawberries can just be halved.

Wash and pat parsley dry. Trim off ends and tear the whole, long sprigs just once through the middle so that pieces are about 2″ and include the stems.

Mix the balsamic vinegar and olive oil at the bottom of a large bowl. Add the parsley and toss. Add the radishes and strawberries and toss once more. Serve immediately.

Cost Calculator
(for 4 salad servings)

1/2 lb strawberries (at $8/large carton): $6
1/2 lb radishes (about 1 bunch): $2.50
1 bunch parsley: $2.00
tablespoon each olive oil and balsamic vinegar: $0.40

Total: $10.90

Health Factor

This recipe gets two brownie points, much due to its profuse use of flat-leaved parsley. This is one power-herb that can serve as a leafy green, and it should, because it’s packed with nutrition. It’s a detoxifier, a diuretic, and breath-freshener, with three times the Vitamin C of oranges and twice the iron of spinach. Then there’s radishes, which are huge in potassium as well as Vitamin C (and tend to make people feel more full when eaten fresh because of their dense water content); and strawberries, this salad’s sweetening agent and another source of Vitamin C. Finally, you can skip the elaborate dressings and opt for just a splash of oil and vinegar (if even that) due to the flavorfulness of the ingredients themselves.

Green Factor

Seven maple leaves: Pretty soon, this dish could be made from entirely Brooklyn-grown ingredients, as strawberries, radishes and parsley are getting close to harvesting on the roof. For now, they’re from local farms in the area; although the oil and vinegar were imported.

16 Responses to “Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar”

  1. arugulove says:

    I bought the most gorgeous strawberries this morning, set on making a strawberry spinach salad for dinner. Now, I’m really regretting I didn’t buy radishes. This looks great. Next week!

  2. Sarah says:

    I picked up some of those exact strawberries myself last Saturday. I unfortunately didn’t leave enough for a salad after enjoying them straight out of the carton, but maybe next week!

  3. Steve G. says:

    Radishes with strawberries, a bold step! Maybe a few cherry tomatoes, too. Also locally grown, and the acidity would be a nice touch in place of vinegar. Maybe too much red, though? ;)

  4. This Week’s Greenmarket Pick: Strawberries! | NonaBrooklyn says:

    [...] Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar [...]

  5. mangolassie says:

    Prepared and ate this salad for dinner. A great meal on a hot evening. Also, it was delicious!

  6. lucy says:

    This is *very* imaginative – if simple, which only makes it that much fun! Great accompiment to a cold quinoa mango salad tonight on this warm summer-ish day.

    Thank-you.

  7. Joanna says:

    Oh funny – I’m a little behind on my blog reading, but I made a very similar salad over the weekend, and seeing this now feels like deja vu! The main differences are that I used white balsamic, and I chopped up the herbs – both parsley and dill. The dill was GREAT with strawberries, I’d definitely recommend it if/when you make something like this again!

  8. Football Manager 2012 says:

    Interesting combination, it looks good though.

  9. kathy says:

    my garden patch is overflowing with italian radishes (that i’ve never planted before) and the strawberries (not grown anywhere local yet) are everywhere really cheap so i will be trying this recipe tonight. I gotta say i just finished reading your book and its a good thing that i had so much snack food cause you really nead to put a warning sticker on the book about snacking while reading this book. between your book and “food trucks”, another one i read on saturday and yours on sunday i have to go shopping today to replenish my larder.

  10. football helmet|football helmets|football helmet decals|football helmet stickers|toddler football helmet|leather football helmet|youth football helmet|design your own footballhelmet|zenithfootballhelmet|revo speed football helmet|football helmet visors|xe says:

    football helmet|football helmets|football helmet decals|football helmet stickers|toddler football helmet|leather football helmet|youth football helmet|design your own footballhelmet|zenithfootballhelmet|revo speed football helmet|football helmet viso…

    [...]Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar » Not Eating Out in New York[...]…

  11. chillicohte web design says:

    chillicohte web design…

    [...]Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar » Not Eating Out in New York[...]…

  12. tony says:

    tony…

    [...]Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar » Not Eating Out in New York[...]…

  13. mlb merchandise says:

    mlb merchandise…

    [...]Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar » Not Eating Out in New York[...]…

  14. What's Red and Green and Delivered All Over? | Greenling Houston says:

    [...] One: Using the strawberries, radish, and parsley from your box for this Strawberry and Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Parsley recipe! With a drizzle of olive oil, this recipe is perfect! The balsamic totally balances out the [...]

  15. Acai Natural Reviews says:

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.

    I am attempting to find things to enhance my website!

    I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  16. Diet Reads says:

    Diet Reads

    Strawberry & Radish Salad with Balsamic Vinegar » Not Eating Out in New York

Leave a Reply

Heritage Radio Network

Cheap Date: a podcast on the Heritage Radio Network
Eat Your Words

The Art of Eating In

The Art of Eating In
Buy now

Cathy on HuffPost

Follow cathyerway on TwitterFollow cathyerway on InstagramFollow The Art of Eating In on Facebook