When making this salad for the first time I was unaware that a number of recipes already existed.
I just happened to have a bunch of radishes and a few mini cucumbers in the fridge and the fact that both had similar diameters and a good crunch to them inspired the combination of the two into a salad that we have enjoyed for years.
The dressing is our all time favourite, simple vinaigrette that has enhanced the taste of a variety of delicious salads time and time again.
Surprisingly I eventually discovered numerous similar recipes which included various different ingredients ranging from feta cheese to shredded carrots. None of the recipes I have come across use oregano which seems to be to be the perfect choice in keeping the salad very simple.
I believe the addition of oregano was inspired by a simple little radish dish made by my mother on occasion instead of the usual salad.
She would place some olive oil in a shallow dish and season it with salt, pepper and dried oregano. This simple mixture did wonders for the fresh sweet radishes that would take a dip or double dip into the delicious pool. If the radish leaves were tender enough they would continue to be dipped until there was nothing left. (unfortunately this choice of words is reminding me of the ever growing bunny family which is still doing a job on my perennials!)
As a child I don’t remember if I really liked radishes but it was all about the fun of dipping into the olive oil which made it delicious and memorable. Similar small shallow dishes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar come to mind that are sometimes served in restaurants to keep everyone busy while waiting for the main. It’s the bread that takes the dip in this case and is equally delicious.
Cucumber and radish salad has a wonderful fresh crunch to it and can be easily enjoyed most anytime since these vegetables are available in the grocery stores year round. Of course making it in the winter months doesn’t compare to the taste experience of making it with the summer harvest from the garden or farmer’s markets. All the same it’s a welcomed change in the winter from the every day leafy salad.
Red, white and green… again a winning colour combination.
Radish and Cucumber Salad
any variety of fresh cucumber
fresh red radishes (preferably purchase the kind with the stems and leaves still attached)
olive oil wine vinegar vinaigrette
freshly cracked black pepper
- Slice radishes and cucumber into a bowl
- Dress with vinaigrette.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Use any variety of cucumbers and cut to approximate size of sliced radishes.
- If cucumber peel is tender, do not remove, it adds colour and nutrients to the salad.
- Although dried oregano is usually the choice, finely chopped fresh oregano can be substituted.