Watermelon Radish & Pickled Cherries

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  • Sweet Kale Salad Mix (green cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, & radicchio)
  • Watermelon radish
  • Shallot
  • Rhubarb
  • Marinated, baked firm tofu (pomegranate molasses, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, Dijon, red wine vinegar, za’atar)
  • Crunchy dried peas
  • Pickled cherries (red wine vinegar, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, shallot, ground toasted spices – cinnamon, black pepper, fennel, mustard seed, star anise, coriander)

Dressing:

  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled cherry brine
  • Dijon mustard
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Salt
  • Za’atar

Colorful salad experiments are fun, I think. This salad is certainly that – red, pink, white, green – and it looks refreshing and quite pretty in my blue-green salad bowl.  When I found watermelon radish at the store last week, I was excited to pair them with the kale/cabbage mix from Costco, and another great, underused vegetable, rhubarb.  I think the sweet, clean-tasting heat of watermelon radish, and the sour tart of rhubarb are a nice pairing if there’s a salty/umami flavor to balance them and something sweet to really unite the flavors.

Marinated, baked tofu provides the umami as well as the protein. Next time I make the dressing, I’d include more Dijon and Bragg’s to further underscore the umami tones in the dressing.

Of course the real experiment here is the pickled cherries. I had a bounty that I couldn’t eat before they went bad so I decided to give pickling a try. These are just quick refrigerator pickles, since I don’t can, so I made 3 jars to try over time and see how the flavor changes as they mature. The plump cherries in this salad have only been in brine 1 week, so they are still quite firm and retain their sweet cherry flavor. They’re starting to take on the bite from the shallot and a little of the fennel & cinnamon flavors from the spices.  I’m curious how the second batch, which I’ll try in a couple weeks, will compare.

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