Lunch Break: Radish and Watercress Salad

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mixed Up

The cray-zee schedule has officially started! Well, I kicked it off a week ealier than previously planned and I am quite glad I did. We all know that it's not because you have one important thing on the agenda that everything else takes a backseat. Every bits and pieces of life that you are trying to juggle all want a spot on the passenger seat while you are trying to drive without knocking other people over. One thing that helps me keep focused is good nutrition. Sweet or savory. Salads especially.

I always try to take time out to fix myself a proper lunch and eat by the window without any incoming noise. It helps recharge my internal batteries and ensures that I don't forget all the other things and people around me. When my friend Tara mentioned this salad from The Breakaway Cook I instantly started craving daikon radishes. I never think about adding them to my shopping list but I have done so three times in the past week. This salad? I made a version of it just about as many times. The one pictured here is probably my favorite.

Fueling Up

It's loaded with good stuff, it's refreshing, it's tasty and it'll bring you good juju for the day. Ok, I am making this last bit up but I felt energized and ready for another 12 hour shift right after eating it. The beauty of salads is their endless possibilities for adaptations. Eric makes his with daikon radishes, pomegranate seeds, avocado, edamame, orange pepper. Mine included daikon and red radishes, avocado, watercress, carrot and pomegranate seeds. It's the end of the season here for those but I needed them for work and had leftovers.

I decided to start working on the photography for Carrie's book a bit earlier than planned, mostly to find a rythm and properly organize my time. The experience has been nothing short of amazing so far. It's a lot of work to cook, style, shoot, edit that many savory and sweet recipes but loving my job makes it easy to invest every bit of myself in it. Everything I have made so far has been refreshing, succulent, different, easy to prepare. You could say I am biased since I have a stake in it but trust me, even if I had zip involved, I'd still couldn't wait to get her book pronto.

Mixed Up

And then there are all the other things in between like more gigs, friends, house, dogs, invoices bills and taxes (grrr....). You know what I am talking about. Some of you even have children to juggle into the mix. We only have a couple of very active and very snuggly creatures! I can't promise lenghty blog posts and towering piles of groovy macarons in the next couple of weeks but I can promise there will always be something good to eat, savory or sweet.

I think I'm getting a hunkering for a tart. It's been a while. Can't live off salad alone, although this one is on repeat on my plate this week.

Refreshing Daikon Radish and Watercress Salad:

Serves 2 to 4 depending on your appetite.

1/2 daikon radish (8-inch piece)
1 bunch red radishes (about 8)
2 carrots
1 small bunch watercress
1 small ripe avocado
1/2 pomegranate
vinaigrette of your choice

Wash and slice thin both kinds of radish and the carrots. You can use a mandolin if you want. I don't have one so I just used a very sharp knife. No matter what you use, watch out for your fingers!
Wash and pat dry the watercress.
Cut avocado into small dices and seed the pomegranate.
Arrange everything in a large or individual bowls and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

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Le P'tit Coin Francais.

Salade Composee De Radis et Cresson:

1 morceau de radis chinois (20cm environ)
1 botte de radis traditionels (environ 8)
2 carottes
1 petite botte de cresson
1 avocat
1/2 grenade
vinaigrette de votre choix

Coupez les radis et carottes en tranches fines a l'aide d'une mandoline ou d'un couteau. Lavez et essorez le cresson. Coupez l'avocat on petit des et recuperez les graines de la grenade.
Disposez le tout dans un grand ou plusieurs saladier et assaisonez avec la vinaigrette.

39 comments:

Gaby said...

love this salad! All the flavor combinations sound fantastic and its so colorful :)

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That looks like a wonderful way to combat stress. Quiet time by your window with a bowlful of delicious salad. I feel better just thinking about it!

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

This looks fantastic with the avocado and pom seeds.

poppyseed said...

Your pictures are soooo pretty. I wish I had all the ingredients--I'd make one right now.

gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com said...

The picture is, as usual, beautiful and makes me want to make this salad now. Watercress is one of my favorite vegetables.
I have not give fresh watercress to my children yet... waiting for them to build up their immune system a bit more. However, they love it in soup!
Bon courage pour le grand projet!!

Dave -nibbleanibble said...

So colorful. And love the background. It makes it look quite natural.

Lilly Higgins said...

Good luck with the book, sounds so exciting: dream job! The salad looks gorgeous, I can't wait for salad weather, we still have freezing weather in Ireland!

Antonietta said...

Lovely!

Nina Timm said...

That beautiful salad will inspire the most dedicated carnivore to convert to fresh vegetables and fruit. Wow, it is beautiful!!!

Georgia.Pellegrini said...

I think you could nickname this salad the Rainbow Salad, it is so colorful and so fresh!

laura said...

Helen, your photography is breathtaking and your recipes look delicious. I love pomegranate and we enjoy growing radishes in our garden, so I hope to try a version of this salad later in the year. Best wishes with your busy schedule.

Parigote said...

Ca fait du bien une belle salade bien colorée !

Meagan said...

I could demolish that avocado myself right now. Oh, so good.

French Cooking for Dummies said...

Awesome salad! Now I know what I'll be having for lunch tomorrow :D

foodie ffanatic said...

So happy for you that you are enjoying your work. I can't imagine many things that would be more delightful! (Not to say it's simple or easy.) I adore radishes. I even enjoy them with breakfast. Dani (ddh77)

Beth said...

I've just recently found radishes! I've been using them sliced to dip into hummus and can't get enough. This salad looks delicious so I'll have to try it! Still need to make your macarons. Saw photos from Sugar Coma weekend and am so inspired! Thanks for all the great posts and photos :)

kickpleat said...

I saw the first picture on Flickr and it blew me away. I love the sound of this salad and I can understand why it's on repeat in your kitchen. Looks stunning.

El said...

There's nothing like a light refreshing salad. Delicious.

Hannah said...

I love both radish and pomegranate, but never thought of putting them together... fantastic!

red ticking said...

you have one of the most wonderful blogs i have ever seen...sooo happy to have found you... and blood orange sauce??? i will be making that immediately.... x pam

Dawn (KitchenTravels) said...

I love daikon radish - don't know why I never think about buying them to eat at home. Thanks for the inspiration. But mostly - thanks for the pup photos! ;) I miss my doggie so much. Yours are adorable.

Maria Celia said...

what a delicious blog ! congrats

ChichaJo said...

This looks so refreshing! We always have some lovely daikon in the market...I don't know why I never pick some up...now I will!

Liz said...

I am getting into the salad groove (and teaching the boyfriend that there are things to love about piles of leafy greens). Radishes I always second guess, but they always come up (even in my fiction reading!), I take this as a sign that I need to revisit the radish.

Beautiful and delicious pictures as always!

Kitchen Harlot said...

Everything you do looks so yummy.

marla@familyfreshcooking.com said...

What a lovely combo of ingredients. Meals are so much more special when we sit down & focus on each bite. When we eat mindfully, we eat less and we can appreciate flavors so much more. Not sure if your pup begs for your meals like my kids do!
I don't usually buy radishes, but this recipe will encourage me to do so!

Cookin' Canuck said...

It looks as though you have so much fun styling your photos. What a refreshing salad - a welcome break from heavier winter foods.

my spatula said...

i could eat your salad every single day. forever. :)

Jen Yu said...

I am convinced that you could make a slice of stale bread look fantastic. Why aren't food companies knocking down your front door to have you style their food?! I have always loved the look of radishes, but not so much the taste. Of course, you have just convinced me that should I ever be presented with as lovely a bowl as this, I will dive in - even FIGHT for my salad :) Busy is good, isn't it? Towering macs will come, I am sure of it. It's in your genes, you know. heh heh. xoxo

Lori said...

That first picture is so beautifully composed!

I love daikons- they taste so good cooked too. I even threw them in a pot of vegetable chili and they were so good.

Kate at Serendipity said...

This is my favorite kind of salad. Here we get enormous black radishes that go so well with the smaller red ones. Daikon are harder to find, though. I fell in love with them in Japan, and would love to find them in my local market.

I lovelovelove the photo with the veggies scattered on the bleached boards. When I look at that, I see that you seem to have broken all the 'rules' of composition: even numbers everywhere! But they end up linking with other components to make odd numbers and in the end the composition just flows. Who needs rules? Gorgeous.

Ana Goncalves said...

What a beautiful salad!

Glad you made time to create such a nutrious and rewarding wholemeal in midday. It always helps to remain at peace with oneself, especially in the middle of all the hecticness. When one takes time to cook and just relax, one begins to nurture one self properly!

Well done.

I will give this a whirl sometime. :)

Lisa said...

mmmmm...looks so healthy and tasty! Just right for a warm summer day!

PinkDevora said...

I'm trying to expand my horizons, especially with vegetables. This sounds wonderful.

mudshark said...

I love all the photos.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

I can't wait until green stuff like this shows up in the farmers markets. I've been going nuts with confiting (is that even a word?) everything from duck to beef cheeks to pork belly (yes, in duck, beef and pork fat) and while it's all great winter food (especially given the weather up here lately), it's taking its toll on my waistline.

Anonymous said...

This is the best looking salad I have ever seen!

alexis said...

wow, what an amazing salad. the colors alone will recharge my mind. vibrant visual caffeine!

Roswell Photographer said...

Wow!! It looks absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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