Roasted radish and beet salad

Roasted radish and beet salad

Whenever I hear the word “radish” I think of the Simpsons. Other things that make me think of the Simpsons: oregano, doughnuts, convenience store hot dogs, very long sandwiches, skateboards, saxophones, tramampamolines, clouds in a blue sky, Mitt Romney, and, of course, 3 foot high blue hair. I used to love the Simpsons! I haven’t watched for about a decade, maybe. It all went downhill, for me, when they started having celebrity guests in most episodes. Luke Perry was the beginning of the end. But I’ve watched every episode from before that time about a billion times each, so I’m covered, Simpsons-wise. It’s funny how many situations in life call to mind a scene from the Simpsons. We rented the second season on DVD for the boys. They’ve seen some pretty dark shows – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Coraline – they all have some actually scary moments, and my boys are usually fine with it. But they found the Simpsons very unsettling. Despite the tall blue hair and the absurd humor, the Simpsons are very real. The problems they face each episode are very real human problems. And problems that my boys could relate to, and felt uneasy about – getting in trouble, problems with bullies, realizing that your parents don’t have the answer to every question. I think, despite being cartoons, and very cartoonish, the characters in this odd yellow family are well-rounded and subtle. I like when Lisa is little girlish, I like when she’s Simpsonish. I love Marge’s gentle nature – I need to be more like her!

When we got two big bunches of radishes from the CSA, I was tempted to carve them all into radish rosettes, like Marge’s impressive aliens. Instead, I decided to roast them with beets. Both pink, both root vegetables, but one is sharp and spicy and one is sweet and earthy. I thought they’d be perfect together! I’ve never eaten roasted radishes before, so I tried to keep the salad very simple so I could really taste them. I added almonds and fresh basil. I think it would be good with feta or goat cheese as well – maybe next time. We ate this with some fresh arugula from the farm, and it was very good indeed!

Here’s Mikey Dread with Roots and Culture

1 large beet – peeled and grated
1 cup radishes – washed and grated
1 t rosemary, chopped
2 T olive oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds, slightly crushed
1 big handful basil leaves, washed and chopped
dash balsamic
salt & plenty of pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Combine the beets and radishes on a baking sheet with the rosemary and olive oil. Roast till everything is dark and smells like burnt sugar – about half an hour.

Let cool slightly, then transfer to a pretty bowl. Stir in the almonds and basil, and add a dash of balsamic and plenty of salt and pepper.

Serve over lettuce or arugula, and sprinkle on some goat cheese or feta, if you have it on hand.

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