In The Southern Vegetable Book: A Root-to-Stalk Guide to the South's Favorite Produce ($19; amazon.com), author and T.V. personality Rebecca Lang shares a quote from a cook named Mrs. Lettice Bryan: “Radishes should be eaten fresh, as the taste is not only impaired by lying a day or two after they are drawn, but tough and heavy, which makes them hard on digestion, and of course renders them unhealthy.” Although the sentiment was originally published in the 1800s, it still holds true to this day—case in point: Lang’s Georgia Shrimp and Radish Salad, which successfully showcases all of the earthiness and delightful crunch of the fresh, humble root veggie.
“Shopping for radishes at the farmers’ market can bring you a choice selection nearly as endless as the colors of Easter eggs,” writes Lang. “Using two different radish varieties automatically gives this salad a vibrancy of textures, colors, and flavors.” Try the recipe below.
Georgia Shrimp and Radish Salad
Makes 4 servings
2 lbs unpeeled, large raw shrimp
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp table salt, divided
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (4-oz) watermelon radish, cut into fourths and thinly sliced
4 oz d’Avignon radishes, thinly sliced
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup diced fennel bulb
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
1. Peel and devein shrimp and pat dry. Sauté in a very hot cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.
2. Combine shrimp, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together orange juice, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pour over shrimp mixture, and toss. Serve chilled.