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I finally made it back to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market this week and was so delighted to spot the return of watermelon radishes at the Weiser Family Farms stand.
I look forward to this heirloom variety of the Chinese daikon every Winter. It’s easy to overlook their humble exterior, but slice them open and their jewel like interior unveils.
It’s almost sinful to cook these beauties – it fades their stunning color. And they are so tasty that a drizzle of extra-virign olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt is all it needs.
My favorite way to prep the radishes is to peel them, then slice them with a mandolin slicer. This method allows you to showcase their breathtaking color, and tone down a bit of the sharpness.
This carpaccio I made (which took no more than 2 minutes) was a true farm to table creation; Weiser Family Farm’s watermelon radishes, Adam’s Olive Ranch Ava’s Acre extra virgin olive oil (my absolute favorite!!), and McGrath Family Farm’s wild arugula.
I had a small chat with Arturo at the McGrath Family Farm stand about the bagrada bug problem threatening local organic farmers. It’s been devastating to their farm, destroying much of their crops. They are hoping the cold weather brings some relief. This is a good reminder of how important it is to support your local farmers so they can continue supplying us with the highest quality produce even through rough times.
Watermelon Radish Carpaccio
Carpaccio traditionally refers to the Italian appetizer of thinly sliced raw beef or fish, but the foodie world has adapted this term for any thinly sliced preparation.
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
Wild arugula or other greens
Peel the radishes and slice thinly with a mandolin or sharp knife. Spread on a platter and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Garnish with greens if desired.
One of my other finds at the market were these stunning purple Brussels sprouts, also from Weiser Family Farms. Not sure what I’ll do with them yet – but they were so beautiful I had to share! (I don’t think I can bring myself to cook these either – will probably slice them very thin and dress them with a lemony vinaigrette).