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Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

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The first time I stumbled upon watermelon radishes was on a cold winter morning at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, over two years ago.  I was searching for parsnips and thought this was it!  The cheery crew at Happy Boy Farms warned me that it was a spicy radish.  I had never seen radishes that looked like this.  She took a knife out from her back pocket and cut it open, and it was gorgeous.  Vibrant bright pink and I knew I had to eat it.  I immediately thought about making a simple Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette


I was in awe.  The exquisite color completely had me.  I fell in love with the somewhat tie-dyed design made of the brightest pink I had ever seen.  Yes, I was buying purely on beauty.  I took a paper bag and filled it with different sizes and shapes.  I had no idea what to expect when I got home.

Tenderly I took one of the radishes out of the crumpled bag, scrubbed the just picked dirt off, and took a big bite.  The spicy juices started to run down the corner of my mouth, and I was hooked.  It was like my first kiss;  wet, unknown, and a little bit spicy.  I continued to slice a couple more, then I laid them on a plate and buttered a piece of still-warm baguette.  I put a couple of vibrate slices onto the creamy butter and sprinkled Maldon salt over the top.  It was perfect.

Since that first “kiss” two years ago, watermelon radishes grace our winter table very often.  As an afternoon snack or mixed with tender greens for a dinner salad.  Now that, we are working from home, full-time, I am on the look-out for simple but delicious lunches.  This salad is one of our favorites.  It is full of sweet fennel and spicy watermelon radishes with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh-squeezed Meyer lemons.  It screams springtime;  doesn’t it?

Recipe:  Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

* serves two


1 medium-sized fennel, green fronds removed
3 small-medium sized watermelon radishes
drizzle good quality olive oil
1 Meyer Lemon
Maldon salt
black pepper

How To:

Using a mandoline, thinly slice the fennel and radishes.

Scatter onto a plate.

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top.

Using a lemon reamer, juice the lemon over the top.

Sprinkle Maldon salt and black pepper over the salad.



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Thursday 29th of March 2012

What a beautiful salad and wonderful combination! Really original.




Monday 26th of March 2012

Can you believe I've never tried a watermelon radish?? It's pretty crazy, especially given how much I love radishes otherwise. Gorgeous photos, Denise! I think the next time I see these babies, I'm definitely going to give them a try.

Brian @ A Thought For Food

Monday 26th of March 2012

These are stunning! Can't help but smile when you look at those radish slices.

Jill @ Freestyle Farm

Monday 26th of March 2012

WOW! I have never seen or heard of watermelon radish and I must seek it out today! Some for a salad like this, and seeds to grow! Thank you for sharing this lovely post (and your first kiss).

Kimberly from Fennel Friday

Friday 23rd of March 2012

Happy Fennel Friday! We featured your amazing salad for Fennel Friday this week and we are so glad to have found your blog! Happy Spring!