Pickled Radish and Radish Top Red Pepper Salsa – Drought Friendly Recipe
On March 18, Super Sous and I wrote a blog introducing our “Drought Friendly Recipe” project. Recipes that are delicious and have low water footprints. Good to make no matter where you are in the USA – since 50% of all California produce is shipped to feed the country.
In that blog, we mentioned the idea of food waste, writing that 40% of all food that is grown in the US is wasted. This happens on all levels of the food chain. From the farms to transportation to grocery stores to restaurants to our own homes. Inherent in that 40% is approximately 11 trillion gallons of lost water. California is relying heavily on groundwater (think using your savings account instead of living off of your checking account – where your checking account would be California’s reservoirs). As the groundwater has been depleting, we are drilling wells reaching water that fell to the earth 20,000 years ago. As Mother Jones writes, “Such water is not just old. It’s prehistoric. It is older than the earliest pyramids on the Nile, older than the world’s oldest tree, the bristlecone pine. It was swirling down rivers and streams 15,000 to 20,000 years ago when humans were crossing the Bering Strait from Asia.”
We need to conserve all the water we can!
On April 22 (Earth Day and Super Sous’ birthday!), MSNBC will be broadcasting a documentary on food waste called “Just Eat It.” You can watch the trailer and/or check out this fascinating view of food waste at its origins on the farm:
Although we may not have control over how something is farmed, we can certainly control things once we purchase them.
Let’s take the simple radish. Somewhat underestimated, the radish is a delicious addition to your regular repertoire. Radishes are a crunchy, spicy root vegetable that are delicious whether raw or roasted.
Not only is the radish delicious, but radish tops are a tasty green. Mild with a slight hint of pepper; delicate, but not too delicate; they have integrity. Radish tops often get discarded, but they are so worth preparing – raw, sauteed or in this radish top red pepper salsa recipe which is perfect for a taco, chips/crackers, potatoes…
Since it’s edible, delicious and took water to grow, let’s enjoy the whole thing. Here’s one idea to utilize the whole radish – from root to top.
½ pound radish, rinsed and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 cup distilled white vinegar
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine.
Let sit for at least 1 hour before using.
Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa
Yield: 1 cup
5 large fire-roasted red bell peppers, drained and rough chopped (1 cup)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup roughly chopped (rinsed) radish greens
1½ tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of ½ small lemon (1/4 teaspoon)
Juice of ½ small lemon (1 Tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt, lemon and/or sugar. Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to meld before serving.