This unusual combination of ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH WATERMELON RADISH SLAW is both visually appealing and remarkably tasty. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make!
This recipe came together following an enthusiastic sales pitch from a gentleman at a local farmer’s market. His table was overflowing with fresh vegetables, including the seldom offered WATERMELON RADISH, which he insisted I try. He sliced one open and in just one bite I was hooked.
Although watermelon radishes may look drab and boring from the outside, their vibrantly coloured flesh inside packs a punch of sweet crunchiness. A member of the Brassica family – other members include arugula, broccoli and cabbage – watermelon radishes are the heirloom variety of daikon radishes. I’m a huge fan, and this recipe puts their colour and distinctive flavour profile to good use.
It comes together in three easy steps. Here are some suggestions:
1) ASIAN DRESSING – You’ll find the recipe for a delicious ASIAN SALAD DRESSING HERE. Prepare it a day in advance, remembering to whisk the dressing thoroughly before use.
2) WATERMELON RADISH SLAW – I use a vegetable mandoline to thin slice the radishes and julienne the carrots. If you have a mandoline, always use it carefully and with the slicing guard on as the blades are incredibly sharp (I speak from experience). Once the radishes and carrots are prepared, add enough dressing to coat the vegetables liberally, then toss and refrigerate until use.
3) ASPARAGUS – Look for locally grown asparagus, the thinner the spears the better. Rinse thoroughly and trim off the woody, pale-coloured ends. The recipes directs that you roast them for 10 minutes and no more – you want the spears to still be slightly raw and crunchy.
To present, begin with an attractive service platter and place the roasted asparagus in a uniform layer, then spoon some dressing across the spears. Add a layer of the slaw across the midsection, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. Yes, it’s that simple!
The perfect salad or side dish for a light luncheon or family dinner, this ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH WATERMELON RADISH SLAW is as delicious as it looks!
2 watermelon radishes, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
½ cup Asian salad dressing, more to taste
Prepare the Asian salad dressing. Refrigerate until use.
Prepare watermelon radishes and carrot using either a vegetable mandoline, or by hand. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and toss liberally with Asian salad dressing.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Lay asparagus on rack fitted onto a rectangular baking sheet. Roast asparagus for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Place asparagus onto service platter. Spoon dressing across spears. Add slaw across the centre of the spears. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Listening to great music is an important part of every Weekend at the Cottage! I listened to “Colour My World” off the The Very Best of Chicago: Only the Beginning – Chicago album while preparing this “colourful” recipe. Visit iTunes to add this album to your collection.
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