Radish and Grapefruit Salad

May 28, 2008



If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.” 

In the past, I’ve always thought of radishes as kind of a poor cousin to beets: smaller and more anemic, they obviously missed out on the family jewels.  Without well-heeled connections or an established vocation, they’re much like the street punk with the pugilistic attitude, slamming your jaw with a peppery punch every time you dare take a bite.

And besides, radishes seem to me more or less a one-hit wonder:  like the obnoxious neighbour (you know the guy: loud, grating voice; beer belly) who always gets drunk at the annual Bar B Q and tells the same joke every year, radishes were used for one thing and one thing only: salad.  And they were always raw.  And they were always sliced.  Not horrible, but not exactly inspiring, either.  Sort of like Julia Roberts: no matter what the context, no matter what else surrounds them, no matter what time of year, they’re always pretty much exactly themselves.  Even when carved into one of those fancy garnish “roses”–a radish is a radish is a radish.

Well, last week, I intended to change all that. 

I’ve been hanging on to this recipe, originally from the LCBO’s  Food and Drink Magazine from early 2004 (LCBO is “Liquor Control Board of Ontario”–that’s right, the government is the sole purveyor of alcohol in our time-warped province), since I first saw it. I’d kept it all this time simply because I loved the photo in the magazine so much (have you ever seen the production values of that mag?  No wonder the Ontario government is short on cash).  Well, I can thank my blogging habit once again for prompting me to finally make the dish and take my own shot of the colorful mix.

It must have been some weird synergy in the not-quite-summer air, but in the interim since I made this salad, I’ve noticed two other bloggers with radish recipes as well: Lisa just whipped up some fabulous looking Potato and Radish Salad, and Karen actually roasted the little roots, something I’ve never thought to do (she swears they’re pretty darned good that way).

This salad was deceptively simple–only seven ingredients–but it was the particular combination that sounded so enticing.  Radishes, sliced paper-thin (unfortunatelly, not in my case–must get that mandoline!), embraced by thick, juicy wedges of grapefruit; with thin rounds of young green onion and glossy olives tinted like black plums scattered throughout. Like a little dinner party with your most eclectic group of friends, all in one place!

It came together in no time at all, and didn’t disappoint.  The result was unusual, yes, but oddly pleasing: tart, salty, peppery, juicy–the perfect side to a light summer dinner of lentil patties (more on those anon).

Based on this salad, I’d say the lowly radish has finally broken free from the previously predictable, nondescript dishes it’s graced in the past.  I actually enjoyed experiencing the radish in a starring role in this dish.

Now, if only I could say the same for Ms. Roberts.

Radish and Grapefruit Salad

from Food and Drink, Spring 2004


Crisp and light, this will remind you of summer, even though it can be prepared any time of year.  The singular mix of flavors and textures creates a uniquely appealing salad. The original instructions advise: “Do not add the dressing until just before serving or else the salad will give off too much liquid.”



18 Responses to “Radish and Grapefruit Salad”

  1. Romina Says:

    I love your analogy of radishes. I always thought they were too bland, but pairing them with delicious fruits sounds like a great way to make up for it.

    Even though you’re not losing weight in your courses, it’s great that you have a good attitude about it, keep it up! You can incorporate all your knowledge into your daily life and maybe in the long term it will help you lose that weight you want off. =)

  2. VeggieGirl Says:

    I’ve never been a fan of radishes, but your salad is enough to make me want to try them again!! Yum!!

    Wow, six weeks already?? That class is really flying by!! You’re still doing great with your health, Ricki – don’t worry about the lack of weight loss!!

  3. magpie Says:

    The radishes and grapefruit look so refreshing! And the olives make it completely irresistible. I will definitely have to make this for summer.

  4. Dani Says:

    I love radishes and grapefruit:). What a simple and creative little salad!! Thanks for a great idea:).

  5. shellyfish Says:

    Radishes are so good for you but I don’t eat them enough. Pairing them with the grapefruit sounds like a great way to prepare them!

  6. Karen Says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Ricki!! I’m flattered. Just want to give you the heads up to proceed to my blog with caution today. I just put up a recipe for chocolate beet cake that can easily be a vegan with a small change. This cake rocked my world. Hubby is not a chocolate fan (he doesn’t like Neil Diamond, either. Go figure) But anyway, he LOVED this cake. I LOVED it. But I had to get it out the house. So, he took it to work. But, now I want a piece. Arrgh.

  7. Lisa Says:

    A very unusual pairing that I would like to taste. I came over here to print off a recipe of yours and now it seems I’m printing two. By the way, I will be posting a few recipes containing mint over the next little while that might interest you.

  8. Susan Says:

    That’s a simple yet snappy salad! Radish can be so harsh, yet grapefruit’s got its own strength to slap it down. Excellent combo!

  9. —“Not horrible, but not exactly inspiring, either.”

    That perfectly sums up my past experiences with radishes. I think, thanks to your inspiration, I will make them my “new food” this week, and I will try them your way.

  10. Um, I’m sorry– no idea why that posted thrice!

  11. Ricki Says:

    The grapefruit was a really good foil for the radish (or vice versa, not sure!). And thanks for the words of encouragement–they helped! 🙂

    They’re probably worth another try 🙂 . And thanks for the support–yes, health is more important than weight loss!

    It did turn out to be a pretty good combination–best I’ve found for radishes, so far, anyway!

    Glad you like it! And nice to know that someone out there does actually love radishes! 😉

    I’m the same way–hardly ever eat ’em. But this salad is something I’d have again.

    How could I read your comment and NOT go look? Sounds wonderful–the radishes would be jealous 😉

    So glad you liked it! And I can’t wait to check out more mint-based recipes–I always find something I like over at your blog!

    I think you’re right; it’s the strength of the grapefruit that actually makes the radish more appealing.

    Yay! Another new food to try. They really are pretty good this way! (Oh, and I deleted the other 2 identical comments–how weird!).

  12. Johanna Says:

    radish and grapefruit makes me want to run a mile – I have never understood the grapefruit – at least the radish makes lovely roses! I think I associate grapefruit with my mother trying to eat a healthy breakfast in the days when I would much prefer coco pops cereal and peanut butter on toast! Not much hope for me is there 🙂

  13. Johanna Says:

    PS – but your photo looks worthy of the glossy mag (sorry even that isn’t enough to tempt me)

  14. Cakespy Says:

    That sounds like a wonderful combination–I love the slight bitterness of radishes–it is so lovely when paired with something sweeter. I’ll bet the tartness of the grapefruit would work beautifully with the taste–it sure looks gorgeous!

  15. Ricki Says:

    Funny, I feel about radishes like you feel about grapefruit! I love a good, juicy red grapefruit just as a snack. It’s quite a different experience if you peel it and eat like an orange. And thanks for the comment about the photo–it was the colors of the salad that drew me in the first place!

    I think you’ve hit it perfectly–it’s those combinations of flavors that do make this work, somehow! Unusual, but works! 🙂

  16. Lisa Says:

    Wow! That sounds so quirky and divine! I love it!

  17. […] brought to you by the Ontario Liquor Control Board’s Food and Drink Magazine, by way of the diet, dessert, and dogs blog (thank you for holding on to this recipe for 4 years!) This one looks so good, even I […]

  18. […] I was intrigued right away by the odd combination of flavours in this salad from an old Food and Drink Magazine and posted by one of my favourite food bloggers, Ricki from […]

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