by Kate Heyhoe
Garnishes are to a dish what jewelry is to an outfit: they dress it up, adding accents and color for eye appeal.
Radishes have long been a popular vegetable garnish because of their crisp texture, bright red, pink, purple or even black skin and contrasting inner white flesh—as well as their pleasant peppery bite. They're also available year round.
Linked below are more tips for creating festive radish garnishes, and quick and easy radish recipes perfect for warm weather entertaining. Be sure to select radishes that are smooth, brightly colored and hard to the touch (not soft or spongy). Avoid ones that are cracked, spotted and overly large for their variety as these may be pithy inside. Look for fresh, green tops, which should be removed before refrigerating in a plastic bag.
The Global Gourmet
Start by trimming off the root ends and tops of medium-size radishes. Cut each radish into 1/8-inch thick slices. With the tip of a small sharp knife make a cut on each slice, cutting from center to the outside. Gently push 2 radish slices together where they've been cut, at a right angle so they connect to form a Radish Spinner. They're attractive on salads, floating on soups and alongside food platters.
8 ounces (3 cups) rotelle pasta (uncooked)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced radishes
1 cup fresh orange chunks
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain. Place in a large bowl along with spinach, radishes and orange. In a small bowl combine olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, oregano, garlic and salt. Pour over pasta mixture. Sprinkle with capers, if desired. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.
Yield: 4 to 6 portions (7 cups)
This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.
Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified January 2007
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