The pastel shades of this Shaved Apple and Radish Salad just scream spring — it’s perfect for a holiday table or maybe a date night dinner for two — I feel lighter and healthier just looking at it!
Have you had a shaved salad? They are so pretty and delicious. Instead of a bowl of greens, this type of salad is created by cutting vegetables — and in this case fruit — into paper thin slices on a mandoline. The slices are so thin that even veggies that are usually served cooked can be eaten raw. There are endless combinations that make this a really fun concept to experiment with. I chose a rather simple one to start with. The sweetness of the apple goes nicely with the sharper radishes. A bit of mint, some buttery slivers of Wisconsin cheddar, and toasted hazelnuts finish this off with panache.
As I’ve said so many times, though, it’s the dressing that makes the salad, and for this one I turned to my collection of O olive oils and vinegars. Their Honey Apple Vinegar is incredible — pop the cork and take a whiff, the scent of cider and honey is heavenly. For this type of salad you don’t want anything heavy, so I just made a simple vinaigrette with the Honey Apple vinegar and O’s Extra Virgin olive oil. Delish!!
Shaved salads are super healthy and have lots of potential for creativity, both visually and in terms of flavors and textures. They’re different from slaws in that the ingredients are cut into paper thin slices rather than shredded. It makes a nice special occasion dish because the presentation can be spectacular. In this case I’ve used a small Gala apple and two types of radishes, along with fresh mint and toasted hazelnuts. The colorful Watermelon radish has rays of fuchsia inside a pale green rind, it’s one of those specialty veggies that is becoming more popular and therefore more available every year. Ask your produce manager about them.
Here are a few suggestions for other ‘shavable’ ingredients so you can put together your own customized salad ~ small or baby veggies and fruit work best, so spring is the perfect time to try your hand at this. Also think about an accent of green such as sprouts, a few bits of baby arugula, or fresh herbs. Add some shavings of cheese and a sprinkle of toasted nuts and you’ve got a gourmet dish ~
- baby beets
- red onion
- carrots (including rainbow carrots)
- baby turnip
- asparagus (shave it lengthwise)
- 1 medium or 2 small watermelon radishes
- several regular small radishes
- 1 small apple, I used a Gala
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, rough chopped
- fresh mint leaves
- Shavings of Wisconsin Cheddar
- 1 Tbsp O Honey Apple Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp O Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Set your mandoline sliver to the thinnest setting. I set mine just below 1/8 inch. Do a few test slices to see what works best for you. Slice the radishes and the apple. I immediately squeeze the lemon juice on the apple slices to prevent browning, be sure to coat all the surfaces.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and taste to adjust any of the components.
- Toss the radishes and apple slices with the dressing, and then arrange on a platter, along with the mint and nuts. Top with the cheese, and serve right away.
- Yes, you know what I’m going to say, you absolutely need a mandoline for this dish. The apples and radishes need to be sliced paper thin, so that they are flexible and translucent.
- Don’t pile this into a bowl, layer it out onto a nice white plate or platter so you can see the shapes and colors.
Don’t forget to PIN IT!
*This Shaved Apple and Radish Salad is in association with O Olive Oil — if you haven’t experienced this line of gourmet artisan oils and vinegar you are truly missing out.