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Spring Is Here: Radish and Blackberry Salad

This past Saturday was the official start date of spring, which means a whole new crop of produce is coming into season. A trip to any farmers' market is proof enough. All those fresh vegetables and bright colors make it easy to get inspired. So when I found these organic radishes on display at Whole Foods the other day, I decided to put their clean, peppery flavor to use in a springtime salad.  

To start with, you'll need a bundle of radishes, organic preferably. To

dress them up, I grabbed a half pint of blackberries and a large bundle

of organic flat-leaf parsley. I wanted something creamy and satisfying

to counter those bitter, sharp flavors, so I bought a wedge of

Montchevre goat blue cheese to go finish it off.

I took the radishes and washed them thoroughly, removing any dirt and

grit. Radishes are pretty dirty little dudes, so make sure you go to

town on them. Gently wash the blackberries and the parsley as well, and

set them aside.

Next, slice your radishes into thin strips, and arrange them around a

plate or large platter. A bundle of radishes should make enough slices

to thoroughly cover a large plate.

I decided to make a sweet dressing out of the blackberries to play off

the strong cheese and bitter parsley. Take about a third of your

blackberries and place them in a food processor along with salt,

pepper, a tablespoon of honey, and a splash of aged balsamic vinegar.

Pulse the blackberries to a fine puree while streaming in about a

quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil. To give the dressing a nice

textural contrast, add an additional third of the blackberries to the

mixture and pulse once or twice, until the dressing is chunky.

To finish, I placed the remaining blackberries on the plate and poured

the dressing liberally over the radishes. Then tear off a few handfuls

of parsley leaves and scatter on top along with chunks of the goat blue

cheese. A few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and a healthy drizzle

of olive oil completed the picture nicely.

Spring is definitely here!

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John Linn

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