First-of-Spring Radish Salad with Burrata

By Emily Connor, Photography by Jennifer Chase

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Nothing quite screams “spring” to me like the first radishes that hit the farm stands. Here I’ve thinly sliced and marinated radishes in a spunky lemon-anchovy vinaigrette, tossed them with peppery watercress and served them up with creamy, glorious burrata. It’s a low effort, high impact salad that can easily go from light lunch to appetizer (especially with crostini) to a first course for dinner.

First-of-Spring Radish Salad with Burrata
4 servings

  • 8 to 10 medium-sized radishes (about ½ pound), thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped

  • A few big handfuls of watercress, arugula or radish greens (if they’re tender), about 1 to 2 cups

  • 8 ounces burrata, at room temperature

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Crostini for serving (optional)

Lemon-anchovy vinaigrette

  • 3 flat-fillet anchovies

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 1 teaspoon capers, coarsely chopped

  • Finely grated zest plus 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Make the lemon-anchovy vinaigrette. Mince and smash the anchovies into a paste with the side of your knife. In a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the anchovies, shallots, capers, lemon zest and juice, and a few pinches of salt. Let macerate for 5 minutes, then add the olive oil, shaking to emulsify. Taste and adjust the acid and seasoning.

In a small bowl, combine radishes and mint. Add all of the vinaigrette, tossing to fully coat the radishes. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes (or up to 30 minutes) in the refrigerator. 

To assemble the salad, strain the radishes with a slotted spoon (or with your hands) to remove as much vinaigrette as possible, and pile them on 1 side of a serving platter. Toss with the watercress; there should be enough vinaigrette clinging to the radishes to dress the greens. Add the burrata next to the salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Serve immediately, with crostini on the side (if using).

Spring Radish Crudite with Fine Herb Aioli and Beurre de Citron

By Greg Lloyd, Executive Chef, Le Diplomate
Serves 4

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The Crudite
3 Icicle radishes, cleaned and halved, tops trimmed to 1 inch
5 or 6 Easter Egg radishes, cleaned and halved, tops trimmed to 1 inch
4 French Breakfast radishes, cleaned, tops trimmed to 1 inch

The Pickle
1 cup water
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted

The Butter
½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon Tabasco

The Aioli Fines Herbs
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup parsley
½ cup chervil
½ cup chives
¼ cup tarragon, picked and blanched
1 clove roasted garlic (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons kosher salt (2 teaspoons for blanching, 2 teaspoons for aioli)

Clean and prep the radishes, hold them in cold water until pickled. Next, make the pickling liquid by combining all ingredients and bringing to boil. Drain the radishes and pour pickling liquid over radishes. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Place the cubed butter in a food processor; mix until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients. Set aside.

To make the aioli: In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to boil, and also prepare an ice water bath. Blanch all of the herbs together for 30 seconds (the salt will preserve the bright green color), drain the herbs and then transfer the herbs to the ice water bath to shock the blanched herbs, setting the color and stopping the cooking process.

In a food processor or blender, add the herbs and blend until fine. (You may need to add a few small ice cubes to get the mixture going. This will also keep the mixture cool while processing.) Add mayonnaise and lemon juice until smooth and green. Adjust the seasoning and plate.