I’m totally smitten with lavender right now. How can I not be? This is what greets me as I pull into the driveway at Potrero Nuevo Farm – a stunning lavender field – eat your heart out Provence!
It only takes about about a teaspoon of dried lavender to add lovely perfume and a little extra herbal flavor to your salad dressing. Add too much lavender and you veer towards creating a fantastic smelling and yucky soap tasting vinaigrette – blech!
Co-Farm Manager’s Suzie & Jay Trexler, love to saddle me up with beautiful produce for our Tunitas Creek Kitchen events (I know, poor me right? It’s real tough cooking with just picked produce and smelling lavender from the fields in my kitchen – real tough). They wanted to highlight watermelon radishes for a private luncheon so went for a simple salad with baby lettuces, fennel, mint, and mandoline shaved radish.
For our upcoming pig roast (this weekend) Suzie has some pickled too, which I’ll share with you on a separate post.
Restaurants pay top dollar for this colorful radish. They are sweeter tasting than red radishes and have a slight turnipy flavor. Normally they are not peppery the way some radishes can be. And they are SO pretty in pink.
Nope, sorry, they do not taste like watermelon…
But they are really delicate in flavor so it’s nice to keep it simple no matter how you’re using them.
- 2 large watermelon radishes, lightly peeled, shaved on a mandoline
- 3 bunches baby lettuces
- 3 sprigs mint, torn
- 1 baby fennel shaved thin on a mandoline
- 1/4 cup aged white balsamic vinegar (un-aged will be too acidic)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender
- Kosher salt to taste
Shave watermelon radish and baby fennel very thin on a Japanese mandoline. Keep both separately in airtight containers covered with wet paper towels if using the same day. If keeping overnight it's a good idea to store both in cold water because they both will become limp and fennel will discolor. (Best just to shave right before using).
Whisk oils into aged white balsamic in a slow and steady stream. Season with kosher salt and dried lavender. Let dressing sit at room temperature for at least half and hour before using.
Toss baby lettuces, watermelon radish, fennel, and mint with lavender vinaigrette and enjoy!