Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Watermelon Radish

Don't judge a book by its cover...

Watermelon Radish. Such a pleasant surprise.

Resembling some type of rutabaga or turnip, a watermelon radish can easily be disregarded as a simple root vegetable when perusing through fresh produce at the grocery/farmers market. However, when cutting into the radish, a brilliant pink center illuminates and the radish immediately transforms into an eye-catching pleasure.

While a watermelon radish is more mild, yet more sweet, than a regular radish, it may also be braised/seared like other root vegetables (though I admit... it pains me to cook these vegetables, as their brilliant pink color fades upon and direct cooking heat). Ergo, I will often shave the root vegetables thin (with a mandolin) and season lightly. Because they are an heirloom variety of the daikon radish, they can withstand being paired with salads or fish (they are sweet enough).

I recently happened upon a pomegranate vinegar... pairs brilliant with pork and sauerkraut for the New Year (will talk about that recipe in another post). I simply added 1/4 cup of the pomegranate vinegar to a warm saute (nonstick) pan, then allowed it to slowly reduce to a thick syrup-consistency (very bright on the palate in terms of fruity-taste).

As a composed dish, I seared a scallop in order to achieve a golden crust (yet still tender in the middle) - seasoned only with salt, sprinkle of cayenne pepper and few drops of lemon juice. I then added a few lightly marinated watermelon radish slices (simply marinated in 1 Tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and salt/pepper). A small Parmesan crisp, crumbled roasted almonds, pomegranate reduction and watercress to garnish were the final touches. If you are keen to bacon, then chop cooked bacon fine and mix in with the chopped almonds... will give a nice sweet/savory element to the scallop.

Simple. Elegant.

"Imagination rules the world." - Napoleon Bonaparte


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