A Salad for All Seasons (Go Ahead Honey it's Gluten Free!)

All Winter long I delight in braising and stewing, slow roasting succulent lamb shanks and simmering up sweet, slow cooked meals from the warmth of my steamy kitchen.

Yet come the summer and I'm suddenly in the mood for the crunch of crisp leaves and the zing of raw onion. I want my protein barely cooked, steamed, cured or sliced cold from a roast. Even with a temperate English summer, misty and rain filled - my palate yearns for the seasonally appropriate, a plate of salad.

This month Danielle of the beautiful 'Against All Grain', brings us a refreshing mouthful straight from the crisper drawer with her theme, Seasonal Salads. Hurrah!

I decided to throw together my current favourite, crisp, satisfying, full of the jewel colours of summer and studded with a  new palate tickling delight - wasabi pickled radishes. The luminous pink of those pickled radishes is a rare thing and magpie that I am, my restless eye wants shiny things to make it happy. It makes a great lunch or supper - perfect primal fare.

I give you the recipe for the salad and the radishes, but be warned - every time I open the jar to sample a spicy, piquant radish, Finley and Nick both pull faces of utter revulsion! When you open the jar, the combination of vinegar and brassica makes for a rather sulphurous pong. Nick declared the radishes delicious once he had tasted them, but Finley tried one and had to be revived afterwards with a glass of water kefir and a reassuring hug.

If you like vinegar, radishes and wasabi, boy are you going to love these pickles - if not then stick to the raw kind, for everyone's sake.

This post is also part of Well Fed Homestead's GAPS Legal Thursdays blog carnival. This recipe is suitable for those who have been through intro and progressed to eating raw vegetables. You could also use lacto fermented veggies in place of the pickled radishes. Vinegary pickles are great for anyone who is increasing the fat content of their diet as it stimulates digestive juices and bile production, helping to digest all those lovely nourishing fats. Make your GAPS mayonnaise with a raw egg yolk and cold pressed vegetable oil such as sunflower or coconut.

Garden Salad

Quantities per person

5 French Breakfast Radishes
1/4 Red Onion
Small Handful of Defrosted Petits Pois or Fresh Garden Peas
Portion of Mixed Leaves
Portion of Wild Salmon Cooked and Flaked
A Chunk of Cucumber
Homemade Mayonnaise

Optional - Pickled Radishes

Slice the cucumber thinly with a mandolin cutter.

Slice the onion into fine rings.

Halve or quarter radishes.

Toss everything together with a little mayonnaise and add sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Arrange artfully on a beautiful plate and dot with pickled radishes. Yum!

Wasabi Pickled Radishes

I give a very rough recipe here:

Fill a jar with quartered or halved red radishes. I find the little round ones give the best result as they are reasonably fiery, but I found some small purple ones the other day and fell on them with 'lust for newness'. They were pretty good too...

Fill the jar with 1/3 unpasteurised cider vinegar, 1/3 brown rice vinegar and 1/3 spring water. You can use all brown rice vinegar for a sweeter pickle - but it is expensive stuff.

Squeeze in a generous amount of wasabi paste. I'd say about a tablespoon per two handfuls of radishes. You can always add more later.

Shake everything up and leave for 24 hours at room temperature before transferring to the fridge. Then voila! Eat within a month to get them at their best.

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