Posts Tagged radish

Buckwheat Soba Salad with Snow Peas and Radishes

Did you know that the word ‘soba’ is the Japanese name for ‘buckwheat’?

And did you know that buckwheat isn’t really wheat at all?

In fact, buckwheat comes from an entirely different botanical family. Buckwheat is actually in the same family as sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb.

You learn something new everyday! I think this information is amazing. Who knew that buckwheat was related to rhubarb?! (I certainly did not!)

As for the recipe? It’s light, it’s seasonal, and it’s perfect for picnics, BBQ’s, and weeknight dinners in the backyard.

Buckwheat Soba Salad with Snow Peas and Radishes


  • 1 package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 6-8 radishes, sliced thinly
  • Sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons Ponzu (or lemon/lime juice)
  • 1.5 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar


  1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and chill until use.
  2. Mix together soy sauce, ponzu (or citrus), sesame oil, agave, and rice vinegar. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. (I personally like a lot of citrus, so I used ponzu and lime juice.)
  3. Toss together the noodles, snow peas, sliced radishes, and green onions. Drizzle the soy dressing over the salad, and toss to coat. Be careful not over-do it on the sauce (this salad’s beauty is in it’s lightness and simplicity). Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve chilled.

Spring Sandwich with Avocado, Radish, and Greens.

And just like that, everything is new again.

The chill of winter has lifted and life is springing forth from the ground. I see it all around me and I feel it in my bones.

Spring has come.

With the spring comes change. For me, this time of year means many different things; it is a time of celebration, a time of plenty, and a time of joy. It is a time for farmer’s markets and radishes and ramps and spring greens. It is a time for opening up the windows, a time for letting the sunlight and fresh air in.


For some of us, this season is also a time of remembrance. A time of fasting and prayer, in preparation for the death and resurrection of Christ. For the past few years, Nich and I have observed Great Lent (aka Orthodox Lent). For six weeks, we abstain from meat, dairy, and alcohol, in preparation for the Easter Feast (Pascha).

I am only one week into Great Lent, but I already feel the effects of fasting. I feel focused and rested, contemplative and clear-minded. I feel hopeful and grateful. And yet, I am struck by the realization that I have so much. I have the freedom to abstain from luxuries such as meat, cheese, and wine. I know that there are many (many) people in this world who aren’t afforded this choice. They abstain because they do not have.

It is a sobering realization that I do not take lightly. Such is the nature of this season – it is a time of hope and of heaviness.

All that said, here’s to spring and all that it brings.

Spring Sandwich with Radishes, Avocado, and Spring Greens

Serving Size: Serves 2


  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 heaping cup spring greens (baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, lettuce, etc.), washed and patted dry.
  • 3 radishes
  • Slices of whole wheat sourdough (or other bread of your choice)
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper


  1. First, I like to ‘quick pickle’ the red onion. You don’t have to pickle the red onion, but I think it adds a nice vinegary kick to the sandwich. To pickle the onion, first peel the onion and slice 1/4 of the onion into very thin slices (reserve the rest for another use). Place the onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt over the onions. Pour red wine vinegar over the onions, just enough to cover and stir to coat. Allow to sit for 15 minutes (or more).
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the sandwiches. In a small bowl, toss the greens with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. (Be careful not to overdress, use only a little olive oil and lemon juice.)
  3. Spread a thin layer of whole grain mustard onto a piece of bread. Top with half of the greens. Slice the avocado in half, and cut the half into thin slices (reserving the other half for a second sandwich). Arrange the avocado slices atop the greens.
  4. Using a knife or mandoline, slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Place radish slices atop the avocado.
  5. Sprinkle a few of the pickled red onions atop the sandwich. Season with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with another slice of bread, or enjoy as an open-faced sandwich.

Radish Leaf Pesto Pasta Salad

For whatever reason, I’ve had a really hard time writing this post.

It definitely isn’t due to lack of effort. Quite the contrary, I’ve sat down to write this post many, many times. But every time I turn on my computer and attempt to write about this radish leaf pesto…I simply draw a blank. I try to will my brain to come up with the words, but my brain keeps telling me that it would rather look at pretty things on Pinterest. Apparently, I can’t will my own brain into submission.

All that to say, it would appear that I’ve got a case of writer’s block. It happens to the best of us. I think that I’ve had a hard time writing this recipe because, well, it isn’t really a recipe. Pesto is one of my favorite things to make, for this very reason. There isn’t any one right way to make it, and there are no hard and fast rules for pesto-making. Pesto can take on many different forms, depending on the mood and ingredients at hand. The very freedom I feel in making pesto is the very thing that makes it so hard to write about.

Since I’m having trouble finding the words, I’ll just say this: pesto = greens + garlic + hard cheese + nuts.

It’s as simple as that. To be clear, pesto is traditionally made with basil and pine nuts. But by no means am I traditional, and therefore my pesto tends to skew the same way. Depending upon what I find in my fridge, I’ll make pesto with any combination of the following ingredients: parmesan, pine nuts, hazelnuts, arugula, cilantro, asiago, beet greens, basil, mint, parsley, pecorino romano, almonds, walnuts, and more. There are countless ways to make pesto, it all just depends on what you like (or what you have on hand).

Seeing as this is the season for all things green, I find myself making pesto all the time. My garden and fridge are currently overflowing with leafy greens, and as much as my bunny would love to devour all my extra greens, I usually break his little heart and make a giant batch of pesto instead. Pesto is a fantastic way to reduce waste and use greens before they go bad, and pesto can easily be frozen and then thawed for later use. It just might be the perfect food.

However, in all of my years of pesto-making, it had never dawned on me to use radish leaves. In fact, I’m rather embarassed to admit that it had never occurred to me that you can eat radish leaves (On the same note, I recently saw a recipe for pesto using carrot greens. Genius!). I give all credit for this idea to Portland’s own Chef Vitaly Paley, who recently competed against Chef Garces on Iron Chef America’s “Battle Radish”. During the battle, Chef Paley whipped up many amazing things, including a radish leaf pesto. Even the usually unflappable Iron Chef judges were amazed by his use of radish leaf. It was such an inventive way to use the entire vegetable, as opposed to just throwing the greens away. Chef Paley made all us Portlanders proud! (Note: Chef Paley also won Battle Radish)

It goes without saying that the next time I bought radishes from the farmer’s market, I came straight home and made a batch of radish leaf pesto. It was everything I hoped it would be! The radish leaves lend a little kick of spice to the pesto, and they give it an especially vibrant bright green color. Honestly, I’ll never look at radishes (or their leaves) the same way again. They are a versatile and delicious little vegetable.

(And would you look at that? I see a lot of words on this here page. Maybe I don’t have writer’s block after all!)


Note: When I make pesto, I don’t measure anything. I usually start by throwing a few cloves of garlic in the food processor. Then, I’ll add greens and nuts. Then olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a few red pepper flakes. I keep blending and adding olive oil and/or lemon juice, until the pesto looks right to me. I happen to like a nice, thick pesto that isn’t too heavy on the olive oil. The following measurements are a set of rough guidelines, so feel free to alter the amounts in any way you see fit.

For the radish leaf pesto:
1 large bunch of radish leaves, washed and patted dry (radishes set aside for use in pasta salad)
3 heads of green garlic (or 3 cloves of normal garlic)
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of red chili flakes
1 large handful of fresh basil leaves* (or any other leafy green you have on hand)

*Note: I was making a rather large batch of pesto, so one bunch of radish leaves wasn’t going to cut it, hence why I added in basil. You could easily double the amount of radish leaves for a larger batch, but I only had the one bunch on hand.

Method: Mince garlic using a food processor. Add in nuts, radish leaves, basil, and lemon juice. Blend until combined. Add olive oil in small amounts, until you reach desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and extra lemon juice (if so desired). If not using immediately, refrigerate until use.

For the pasta salad:
1 small bunch of asparagus
1/4 cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese
1 lb fresh pasta of your choosing
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 – 1 cup radish leaf pesto
1 cup baby arugula
Radishes, washed and sliced thinly


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta water and set pasta aside to cool.

Snap the ends off the asparagus. Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. When the pot of water is boiling, add asparagus. Allow the asparagus to cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove the asparagus from the boiling water and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Once the asparagus has cooled (a few minutes), remove it from the ice bath and cut into 1″ pieces.

Toss cooled pasta with a drizzle of olive oil. Stir together pesto and Greek yogurt, then toss yogurt and pesto mixture with the pasta. Gently stir in parmesan cheese, sliced radishes, asparagus and arugula. Allow to chill at least 20 minutes before serving, as this will allow the flavors to meld.

Spring on a Plate: Radish & Leek Tartines

I had all sorts of aspirations about this being a lovely and word-filled post, celebrating the beauty of the Spring farmer’s market. And then…I got sick. Nothing too serious, mind you. Just your standard issue scratchy throat/stuffy nose/achy body/stupid head cold.

The most troubling side effect of this head cold? Truth be told, my brain just feels squashy. I don’t know how to describe it any better than that. Its like my synapses aren’t firing correctly and all the the things I’m thinking aren’t spilling out onto the page. Everything is sloshing about in my cloudy head. It isn’t pretty.

So, then, rather than write a lovely and lengthy blog post, I’m going to give my squashy cold-infested brain a rest. I will, however, leave you with photos and recipes for not one – but two – perfect spring toasts. I made these for dinner last week, after a trip to the PSU Farmer’s Market.

The husb & I were still in the midst of our Lenten fast, so I made the toasts with Earth Balance as opposed to real butter. However, now that I am eating meat and dairy again, you can bet that I’ll be making these toasts with butter. (Everything is better with butter. Amen and amen.)

So, then, here is how I transformed a few lovely farmer’s market purchases into a simple and delicious dinner (aka Spring on a Plate).

Radish Tartiness with Butter & Mint | Caramelized Leek Tartiness with Aged Balsamic

For the Radish Tartiness:

Several slices of crusty cread (I used slices of fresh homemade bread, and it was amazing)
1 small bunch of fresh radishes, washed
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (*Or use Earth Balance to make the recipe vegan friendly)
High quality sea salt, such as Fleur De Sel
Pepper, to taste
*Optional: feel free to stir any herbs you have on hand into the butter to make an herbed butter spread. I added in some chives and they worked nicely with the dish.

Add a dash of salt & pepper to butter, stir until mixture is smooth & creamy.

Wash radishes and slice thinly. Set aside.

Toast bread slices in a skillet on the stovetop with a dash of oil or butter, until bread is golden brown (Note: can also use a toaster for this). Allow the bread to cool for a minute or two before spreading the butter mixture on it.

Spread butter mixture atop of toasted bread slices. Top butter mixture with a thin layer of radish slices. Sprinkle with fresh mint, garnish with extra salt and pepper if you so desire. Serve immediately.

For the Leek tartines:

A few slices of crusty bread
2 small leeks, sliced into thin rounds (white & light green parts)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Good quality aged balsamic vinegar (*Note: aged balsamic vinegar is noticeably thicker and sweeter than your typical balsamic. If you don’t have an aged balsamic, you could make an balsamic reduction to achieve a similar effect. Simply simmer balsamic vinegar on the stovetop in a small saucepan until the vinegar reduces and thickens.)
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small pan, heat a dash of olive oil. Add in sliced leeks, stir to coat in olive oil (add more if necessary). Slowly cook leeks over medium-low heat until caramelized (about 30 minutes). The leeks should be tender and starting to slightly brown. Once the leeks have caramelized, remove from heat.

As with the radish toasts, toast a few slices of bread in a skillet (or toaster). Spread a thin layer of butter over each piece of toast. Top with a generous pile of caramelized leeks, a healthy drizzle of aged balsamic and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.