Wild Radish seed pods are everywhere this time of year. When you look out over a meadow of purple/white/yellow flowers, you’re probably looking at wild radish. The yellow flowers you see are actually wild mustard, but the interbreeding is so intense in the wild that its almost impossible to tell them apart ( and doesn’t really matter anyway). I foraged the seed pods for mt last dinner in/around SF. Wild radish is one of the most relaxing things to forage, mainly because there is so much of it. Instead of scouring the leaf cover for that orange glint of the Chanterelle, you just pick. Its all right in front of you, which gives your mind time to wander and wonder. The best ideas are hatched wild radish picking.
The winter/spring gives us the leaves (which are a great cooked green) and the flowers. As the weather starts to heat up the leaves fall off and we get the seed pods. At their peak, they have a great radishy bite, but with a lot more texture than the flowers, which are also edible. I think this will be the last meal for seed pods this year. As the summer progresses, the pods start to solidify and dry out, as the seeds get ready to drop. The result is that no matter how hard you blanch or sauté them, they are going to be very tough. Luckily I caught them at the tail end, and they were still nice and tender. This is a really nice salad, with the tart vinegar of the blue cheese dressing set off against the spice of the seed pods and Nastertiums. Looks great too, all green, white, red…nice dish.
The Recipe: Serves 4
4-6 heads little gem greens (marin roots has the best, but not cheap)
8 Nastertium flowers
2.5 oz Stilton Blue Cheese (about 3 Tbsp)
1 Cup wild radish seed pods
6 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar
Dressing: Add vinegar and cream, then whisk together with some salt and pepper. Whisk in the sugar until it dissolves, and then whisk in half of the cheese. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Add seasoning to taste
Seed Pods: Heat 2 Tbsp butter over med/high heat. Saute radish seed pods until tender (about 4 minutes), add salt and pepper to taste.
Wash and dry the Little Gems. Cut off the end, and, using your hands, toss in mixing bowl with 2 Tbsp dressing and 1/4 C seed pods. Arrange on plate, with 2 nastertium flowers. Crumble remaining cheese on top.
That’s it! Unfortunatly I didn’t get any good pictures of this salad from the dinner, but if you make it, be sure to send me a photo, Ill put it on my site.