Tag Archives: radish

Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of those polarizing side dishes that people either love or hate. I’m in the love category. However, I can see how eating the sticky yellow store-bought stuff could turn someone away forever. This year I put my own spin on this controversial dish when a friend requested that I bring potato salad to an Independence Day party. I am so glad that I did. The potato salad I created showcased some of Austin’s best summer produce with bold flavors and a more appetizing texture than store-bought salad.

I started developing my recipe with the proportions from my Grandma’s potato salad: 1-3/4 cups dressing and and 1-1/2 cups diced vegetables for every two pounds of cooked potatoes. (See similar recipe here.) I made significant changes from her list of ingredients, though, to reflect my friends’ contemporary tastes and the array of great ingredients available here in Austin.

Grandma’s recipe called for peeled potatoes. I chose red potatoes from Acadian Family Farm*, which hold their shape after cooking, and left the tender skins on. Instead of generic yellow mustard in the dressing, I used Dai Due’s famousFireman’s Four Mustard. Austinite Jesse Griffiths makes this hot and tangy mustard using Real Ale’s Fireman’s #4 brown ale and sells it through Greenling Organic Delivery and in person at the SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown every Saturday.

For the crunchy elements of the salad, I strayed even further from the standard deli recipe, with red onions from Gundermann Farms and radishes. Red onions add a ton of color, crunch and a hint of sweetness to the salad that white onions just can’t match, while radishes add bite. My secret weapon in making the potato salad crowd pleasing was lots of applewood smoked peppered bacon. The smoky flavor of crisped meat, along with the heat from the peppercorns, really kicked the intensity of the salad up a notch. I finished the salad with a handful of chopped fresh parsley from Pure Luck Farms. The green parsley popped against the creamy potatoes and their flavor brightened the dish.

I don’t think that my version of potato salad is healthier than the original by any stretch, but it is more adventurous. I didn’t have to worry about it spoiling in the heat at my friends’ cook-out, either. It was all gone in the first 15 minutes.

Potato Salad (serves 8 )

6 medium-sized red, blue or yellow potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
4 slices applewood smoked peppered bacon
1 medium red onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
10 small radishes, diced (about 3/4 cup diced)
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Dai Due Fireman’s Four Mustard (substitute another spicy mustard if you have a Gluten intolerance)
1/4 cup chopped parsley, half reserved for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place whole potatoes in a few inches of water in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat the water until it is boiling, then cover and cook the potatoes for 20-30 minutes, until they are tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Drain and set aside to cool.

While potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon: separate bacon slices and place them side by side in a large skillet. Heat the skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Once the bacon becomes limp and begins to render fat, use tongs to turn the slices over. Leave the bacon undisturbed as it shortens and begins to crisp. Once the slices are a deep brown on that side, turn them again to crisp up the first side.  The bacon will be finished cooking when the edges on both sides are a deep brown (not black!). Remove the bacon from the pan and set it to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the bacon fat for another use.

Combine diced onions and radishes in a large mixing bowl with mayonnaise, mustard and half of the chopped parsley. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, chop them into bite sized pieces. The skin will likely peel away from some potatoes; just toss that along with the diced potato pieces into the bowl with the salad dressing. Next, chop the crispy bacon into very fine pieces and add about half of it to the potato salad. Use a spatula to gently stir the potatoes, bacon, and dressing together until all the potatoes are covered in dressing and the bacon is distributed evenly throughout the salad. Transfer salad to a serving dish, then top with reserved parsley and bacon bits.

*Sadly, Acadian Farm recently moved from Moulton, Texas, to just outside Norman, Oklahoma. Check out Tecolote and Massey Farms for potatoes once local stores of Acadian’s run out.

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Radish Tartine

I got a whole loaf of  bulgar wheat bread from my mom for Christmas this year.  She usually makes it for family dinners, and I was more than a little excited to see a whole loaf of the stuff in my stocking yesterday.  Mom’s wheat bread is simultaneously tender and hearty with just enough sweetness to help you lose track of how much you’re eating around the family table.  Yesterday during a particularly passionate discussion about deer meat, I caught myself nibbling on bread slice number three of the meal, slathered with farm fresh apple butter. Of course, I was way too full for a second helping of salad.  “Three slices!” I wondered, “How does this happen every year??”  The answer is that the nostalgia brought on by bulgar wheat bread tends to distract me from the detritus of adulthood, like counting calories or bothering with vegetables.

Still.  I have an entire loaf of this wheat bread in my grown-up pantry, and I need to find a way to use it that doesn’t involve me slurping up a whole jar of apple butter.

Enter radish tartines. These simple-to-make, open faced sandwiches are just the thing to awaken my palate from its nostalgic torpor. A thick slice of wheat toast buttresses a creamy-tart layer of cheese along with spicy radish slices from My Father’s Farm.  A pop of red wine vinegar, crunchy sea salt and cracked pepper top the whole thing.

I’ve sampled two versions of this sandwich so far, each slightly different because of the variety of radishes that came in our Local Box this week; I received a Spanish black radish, two watermelon radishes, and two French breakfast radishes in our bunch from My Father’s Farm.  Although I used the beautiful and mild-mannered watermelon radish in my pictures of the sandwich– who could resist those radiant reds and greens around Christmastime?– the Spanish black radishes’ assertive, peppery crunch made it my favorite tartine topper of the three varieties.

Even though you won’t have a loaf of mom’s bulgar wheat bread in your pantry, I hope that you enjoy the simple pleasure of crunchy radishes, rich cream cheese, tart vinegar, and nutty whole wheat with your own version of this easy sandwich.

Radish Tartine (serves 1)
1 thick slice of good quality whole wheat bread
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 teaspoons sour cream
1-2 radishes, any variety, sliced very thin (about 12 slices)
salt
fresh ground pepper
red wine vingar & olive oil

Preheat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Brush one side of the slice of bread with olive oil and toast bread oil-side-down on a preheated grill pan or skillet.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cream cheese and sour cream until well combined.  Place toasted bread cooked-side-up on a plate and spread cheese mixture over the top. Cover cheese with a layer of radish slices, then top with salt and pepper.  Drizzle sandwich with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar to finish.  Serve immediately.

Local Box Meal Plan: April 13-16

Some of you lucky folks will get fennel this week! The entire box will consist of:

So I am making:

Carrot-dill soup (with chopped spring onion tops as garnish)

Fennel, radish, and grapefruit salad — This recipe calls for paper-thin slices of fennel, which you’d usually get with a mandoline. If you don’t have one (like me) just thinly slice by hand or use the slicer blade on your food processor.

Mongolian beef

Grilled romaine lettuce — this is a great side dish with any grilled meat. I know it sounds odd, but try it and I think you’ll love it.

Strawberry bread

Local Box Meal Plan: March 8-12

This week, we’re getting collards or spinach and an onion from Naegelin, shiitake or white button mushrooms from Kitchen Pride, grapefruit from G&S Groves, red leaf lettuce and arugula from Bluebonnet Hydroponics, spring onions from Acadian, cilantro and radish from My Father’s Farm, and either cabbage, carrots or beets (fingers crossed for beets!).

So I’m making:

We’ve been getting so much grapefruit lately and I’m running out of ideas (and I’ll go nuts if I have to eat any more for breakfast!). What have you been doing with grapefruit?

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 22-26

This week, we’re getting sweet potatoes; broccoli from Farm Patch; yellow onion and swiss chard or spinach from Naegelin; Meyer lemons from G&S Groves; salad pack with dill, cilantro, and mixed radishes from My Father’s Farm; crimini mushrooms from Kitchen Pride; and spring onions from Acadian.

So I’m making:

  • Broccoli and mushroom casserole with onion (without a cream of whatever soup! Blech!) with sweet potato biscuits (recipe to come in the Greenling box)
  • Gouda and spinach-stuffed pork chops (recipe to come in the Greenling box)
  • Lemon and chili fresh pasta (we ended up getting oranges, not lemons last time, so I’m anxious to try this)
  • Green salad with cilantro, radish and green onions

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 1-5

This week, we’re getting broccoli, swiss chard, and red spring onion from Acadian Family Farm; grapefruit from G&S Groves; radish and beets from My Father’s Farm; sweet potatoes from Naegelin; carrots from Martinez Farm; cilantro and arugula.

So I’m making:

For the Super Bowl:

Sides:

  • Swiss chard with bacon
  • Arugula salad with chilled beets and goat cheese (one of my favorite combos!)

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan. 11-15

Given the devastating freeze that afflicted South Texas last week, I wasn’t hopeful that our Greenling Local Box would contain too many goodies. Luckily for us, I was mistaken! Though I expect that some of these items may change due to unpredictable quantities, I still wanted to make a plan for the things we would get.

We’re supposed to get bok choy and radishes from My Father’s Farm, apples from Top of Texas, tangerines from Orange Blossom, collard greens from Naegelin, Louisiana spring shallots and green leaf lettuce from Acadian, broccoli microgreens from Bella Verdi, and purple turnips from Lundgren.

So I’m making:

Snacks:

Lunches:

Dinners:

Side Dishes: