Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Roasted Radish Salad With Avocado, Cotija Cheese and Pepita Dressing

Roasted Radish Salad With Avocado, Cotija Cheese and Pepita Dressing Recipe

Is there anyone out there who really consumes their fair share of radishes? I think most people don't eat them at all while others, like me, will throw a few in a chopped salad once in a blue moon. I wish I could say the impetus of this radish salad creation was because I realized radishes are loaded with anti-oxidant Vitamin C and that perhaps with the right recipe they could be the main event. But the real reason I created this salad was due to the fact that I was sitting on bunches of colorful radishes that I needed to utilize.  What was I thinking?  They were so beautiful at Whole Foods I just had to snap them up. Yet I had no idea how to creatively use them. 

So I decided to roast them and create a Mexican - inspired salad with avocado, cotija cheese and a borrowed pumpkin seed dressing recipe.  We both devoured this salad. 

Roasted Radish Salad With Avocado, Cotija Cheese and Pepita Dressing

3 or 4 large bunches of radishes, trimmed and quartered {about 19 oz with greens removed}
1 T + 1/2 T olive oil
kosher salt
2 c greens {such as baby spinach or a spring mix}
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into bite size cubes
2 T natural unsalted pepitas 
2 T or 3 T cotija cheese, to taste (or you can use crumbed feta)
- and for the dressing
2 T natural unsalted pepitas 
2 t Champagne vinegar
2 t fresh lime juice
1/4 t + 1/8 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t minced garlic
2 T firmly packed fresh cilanto leaves
1 T diced jalapeno pepper
1/8 t kosher salt
1/8 t pepper
2 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Toss the radishes, 1 T + 1/2 T olive oil and a little kosher salt in a bowl.  Spread the radishes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes or until firm but tender, stirring at the 10 minute mark. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place 2 T pepitas in a food processor and process to a medium-fine texture. Add the next 8 dressing ingredients and process for a few seconds. Slowly add the oil and process until emulsified.

To assemble the salad, divide greens among two plates.  In a bowl, gently toss avocado and radishes with desired amount of dressing.  Spoon avocado-radish mixture over the greens. Top with cheese and 2 T pepitas. Finish with an extra dusting of freshly ground black pepper if you like.
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Source:  Jill Crusneberry; dressing adapted from Dinner At The Authentic Cafe

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