Like an inviting plate of raw radishes with coarse sea salt and good butter, this casual first course hardly needs a recipe. But consider this a nudge to plant radishes, buy them, and eat them in every form as they pop up row by row from April to June. When the bulbs are peppery fresh and exploding with their illustrious crunch, quarter your favorite round radishes (globe or Cherry Belles) and throw them in a bowl. Thinly slice another variety or two (black or watermelon radishes). Toss them with young heirloom carrots, your best olive oil, and chunky portions of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, and take your time making it all disappear.
Radish Salad with Aged Parmesan
1 black radish
1 large watermelon radish
Handful small globe, Cherry Belle, or French Breakfast radishes per person, quartered
4 small young heirloom carrots, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 to 4 tbsp finishing oil
Fleur de sel or sel gris and freshly ground pepper
2 oz/55 g aged Parmigiano-Reggiano
Slice the black and watermelon radishes as thinly as possible with a mandoline or a very sharp knife. Toss together with the quartered radishes, carrots, and finishing oil in a large bowl and sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper. Break the Parmigiano-Reggiano into bite-size pieces and toss together with the vegetables. Serve at room temperature in a shallow bowl or on a small platter.
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite and is the food director of Real Simple magazine. She spent six years as a lead recipe developer for Food Network, and has appeared as a guest chef on Good Morning America. Her articles and recipes have been featured in numerous magazines, including Fitness, Health, Food Network Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living, and she has contributed to several cookbooks. In 2012, Sarah published her first cookbook, The Newlywed Cookbook, shortly after beginning her own marriage to a vegetarian. A former omnivore herself, Sarah was determined to make him wonderful, flavorful vegetarian food. Her new book, Feast, comes out of her commitment to that goal. She lives in New York City.