Watermelon Radish & Cannellini Beans

It’s time for watermelon radishes again!

Their cheerful magenta centers, cool crunch, and slightly sweet-hot flavor means spring is coming and I was thrilled to see them last weekend at the farmer’s market.  I love to pair them with other fresh spring-like flavors, like mint & peas.  To show them off in this week’s salad, I am using peppery baby arugula, lightly pickled shallot rings, peas, mint, and tart cranberries.  A mild & creamy bean, the cannellini, doesn’t subtract from the star flavors; instead its gives a chewiness to each bite an a bit of satiety to the lighter elements in the salad.

In my Roasted Parsnip Salad , I shared a mindmap that is one tool I use to develop a recipe.  Sometimes as I’m working on the ingredients, I make flavor/texture/color notes with each item on the list to be sure I highlight, contrast, and include all the elements to their best advantage.  For this week’s salad, my meal plan was in list form, rather than illustration.  I’ll share my notes on the elements in each item in italics below:

  • Arugula (peppery/bite/feathery texture)
  • Watermelon Radish (crispy, sweet, “hot”, clean, like fresh air)
  • Cannellini beans (creamy, mild)
  • Shallot, pickled in rice wine vinegar with a dash of sugar (sour, crunchy)
  • Dried cranberry (sour, tart, chewy)
  • Peas (crisp, fresh)
  • Goat cheese (creamy, cool, tangy)
  • Mint (fresh, sweet)


  • Rice Wine Vinegar (bright, acidic, sweet)
  • Olive oil (smooth, rich, herby)
  • Honey (sweet)
  • Mint (fresh, sweet)
  • Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids (salty & umami)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic clove (aromatic)

I decided to give this salad a “3 star” note because it needs something with a little more umami darkness to balance out the light, bright flavors and textures.  Perhaps marinated, baked tofu  would be a good protein instead of the beans. It may also be good to experiment with a creamy dressing, either yogurt or buttermilk.



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