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Radish, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Salad

Discovery is one of the greatest gifts life has to offer. Occasions when we as adults feel like we’ve tried something for the first time are truly thrilling, don’t you think? As a food lover, I get great joy in tasting something I’ve never tasted before. My brain immediately kicks into high gear trying to figure out what exactly this food reminds me of. Often, this first taste is a walk down memory lane; it evokes emotions related to places I’ve been, people I’ve met, and other delicacies I’ve tasted.

Does this bite make me feel the sun’s heat on my skin? Is my hair wet from the ocean? Do I breathe in the spices of chili wafting out from an open doorway? Are my fingers sticky from fruit juice that’s now running down my arm? Is there rain pelting on my windows? Do I smell my grandmother’s perfume or lilacs?

My mother used to tell me stories about rhubarb. How it grew in her grandfather’s yard, tall and persistent. How he loved its tart taste, unmasked by sweet strawberries. Truth be told, this fruit, which used to be considered a vegetable, is more known for its medicinal uses than it is as a stand-alone delicacy. You may have tried it, hidden underneath a pie crust, or stewed with lots of sugar and spices.

When rhubarb stalks (which look like celery stalks dyed magenta pink) first begin to appear at the market in early Spring, I am immediately transported to a garden setting. I sit on a porch stoop with a glass of something refreshing in hand. The only sounds I hear are those of birds and bees. A wrinkled paperback sits untouched by my side. The sun warms my skin just so, as a light Spring breeze unnerves my hair. I want to dig into a salad, followed by a cookie and sleep the afternoon away. It’s not quite summer, so I cannot justify a total exit from the day, but I dream because as far as the eye can see there are fields and fields and a picnic basket awaits me.

I’ve never thought to cut off a slice of rhubarb and eat it raw until this book arrived on my doorstep. This salad is a revelation indeed.

On an unrelated note, I’d just like to say how terribly sad I was to hear about the awful events that went down at the Boston Marathon yesterday. It’s unnerving to think that a celebration of human strength, camaraderie, perseverance and friendship would be the sight of such a horrific attack. You’re in my thoughts, friends, and the lovely city of Boston.

Radish, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Salad
adapted from The New Persian Kitchen
serves four

3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced crosswise
5 radishes, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup of strawberries, hulled and quartered
handful of fresh mint leaves
toasted pistachios (for garnish)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups of salad greens

1. Add one tablespoon of vinegar, two tablespoons of oil and garlic to a large bowl. Whisk to combine, then add the salad greens and mint. Toss to coat, season with salt and pepper then divide among plates.
2. Next, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and radish slices. Add one tablespoon of vinegar and one tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper then stir with a wooden spoon to mix.
3. Top the greens with the rhubarb, radish and strawberry mixture. Sprinkle with pistachios.

Radish, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Salad + Musical Pairings: Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze

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Posted by Kasey

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Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • http://londonbakes.blogspot.com Kathryn

    I’ve never considered eating rhubarb raw either – it sounds like a complete delight in this salad and I love the memories that you describe. I feel like I’m sitting on that stoop with you.

  • http://twitter.com/thelittleloaf thelittleloaf

    I’ve only just got into eating sweet and savoury together in this way – I used to hate fruit with meat or in salads but I’m learning to embrace it and strawberries are a particular fave after making a Sprouted Kitchen salad! Rhubarb eaten like this is completely new to me – would love to give this a try.

  • Katie @ Mom’s Kitchen Handbook

    Not a combination I would have put together, but sounds delicious. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on that cookbook. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Yum! Spring on a plate :)

  • Nicole

    I also never thought to try rhubarb raw! So curious now. Such a beautiful salad. I’m going to be THAT person that says, I have those polka dot napkins, too :) Couldn’t resist them!

  • http://twitter.com/heatherchristo Heather Christo

    So pretty, and I have never had rhubarb raw! cool, can’t wait to try it!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I wish we were both sitting on that stoop together!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    It was totally new to me too, and I’m so glad I tried it! Enjoy…

  • WithStyleGrace

    what a stunning salad. love all the colors!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    You’re welcome! I’m really loving it so far.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I think so, too :)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I never had before, either! And yay for cute polka dot napkins – great minds think alike ;)

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Sounds like most people haven’t! I’m glad I gave it a try.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thanks, Lisa! The colors are definitely mood-brightening :) And yay for Spring produce!

  • http://cookieandkate.com/ Cookie and Kate

    I love how food can transport us back to earlier memories. Raw rhubarb in a salad? What a brilliant idea!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I thought so, too! My wheels are spinning on all sorts of new ways to use rhubarb now. So glad I tried it, thanks to this wonderful new book.

  • Ca4ole

    Carole’s
    Chatter is collecting links using rhubarb today. This is a nice one. I do hope you pop over and link in. This is the
    link
    . Cheers

  • Megan Gordon

    Such a beautiful book that one is — I have a few things dog-eared (did you see the goat cheese cheesecake?!), but this salad must’ve missed my radar. I’ve never thought to use rhubarb raw, but I love the idea!

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