This salad. Ohhhh, this salad. I think it is rather obvious how strikingly beautiful it is, a dish to impress no doubt. But I am happy to report the taste matches the look…bright, crisp, exciting and fresh. As long as watermelon radish and citrus are in season I am going to be making this salad because it is hands down my new favorite. I ate it three times last week and am still left craving more. I think the secret is in the easy shallot vinaigrette using white balsamic vinegar because it adds a nice pop of acid without being too tart which balances the sweetness of the citrus. Just trust me on this one, give it a try.
1 shallot or half of a small red onion
2 to 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 watermelon radishes
1 to 2 oranges (I used Cara Cara oranges for the color and sweetness)
a handful of pecans, slightly toasted and chopped
goat cheese to taste
olive oil to taste
A few notes: First, the original recipe calls for walnuts but I’m not a huge fan, I thought pecans were lovely. No need for a mandoline, I don’t have one so I just carefully sliced thin pieces of radish and they still absorbed the vinaigrette really well.
Mince shallot, place in small bowl and cover with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vinegar depending on how big of a salad you are making. Add a pinch of salt and set aside.
Cut off one end of the radish. Leave the other intact so you have a handle when you run the radish down your mandoline or carefully slice it very thin with a sharp knife. Peel the radishes if you wish, though it is by no means necessary. Arrange radish slices on a platter and fold the thinnest pieces so they’re not all squished down in one flat layer. Season all over with salt.
Cut off each end of each orange. Squeeze each end over the radishes, then discard. Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from the orange. Cut in between membranes to remove each slice. Squeeze remaining membrane all over the radishes to extract any juice and scatter oranges over the radishes. Follow with pecans, goat cheese, macerated shallots and vinegar then drizzle olive oil to taste. Finish with a sprinkle of chives and let sit a few minutes (or longer — it benefits from a brief rest) before serving.