This watermelon radish salad with Cara Cara oranges, goat cheese and toasted walnuts is as stunning as delicious! A simple dressing of shallots macerated in vinegar, olive oil, and chives adds brightness to this refreshing winter salad.
Here’s a festive dinner: Balthazar’s Moules à la Marinière, an on old favorite that takes no time to throw together, peasant bread, and this salad, a mix of paper-thin watermelon radishes, Cara Cara oranges — so sweet and pretty — toasted walnuts and goat cheese, dressed with shallots macerated in vinegar, olive oil, and chives.
A few weeks ago, we received an enormous bag of watermelon radishes, which couldn’t be more beautiful, in our first winter CSA delivery, and we’ve been enjoying variations of this salad ever since. If you don’t have radishes on hand, turnips work, too, as do raw thinly sliced golden or red beets.
A simple salad inspired by a bounty of watermelon radishes in our CSA, the beautiful citrus at the market, and the classic combination of goat cheese, walnuts and citrus.
A few notes:
- A mandoline is helpful here. This is my favorite.
- To toast nuts: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly browner and smelling fragrant. Dump the walnuts into a tea towel. Rub off the skins. Remove walnuts from towel, leaving skins behind. If you wish to get more of the skin off, place walnuts in a strainer and shake it aggressively.
- 1 shallot or half of a small red onion
- 2 to 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt
- 2 to 3 watermelon radishes
- 2 to 3 oranges, clementines, grapefruit, etc. (I love Cara Cara oranges, which are sweet, pretty and delicious)
- a handful of walnuts, toasted and chopped (see notes)
- goat cheese to taste
- chives, minced, optional, but they add some nice color
- olive oil to taste
- Mince shallot. Place in small bowl. Cover with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the vinegar depending on how big of a salad you are making. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Cut off one end of the radish. Leave the other intact so you have a handle when you run the radish down your mandoline. Peel the radishes if you wish, though it is by no means necessary. Thinly slice on a mandoline. Arrange radish slices on a platter. I try to fold some of them so they’re not all squished down in one flat layer, but arrange however you wish. Season all over with salt.
- Cut off each end of each orange. Squeeze each end over the radishes, then discard. Use a sharp knife to remove the skin from the orange. Cut in between membranes to remove each slice. Squeeze remaining membrane all over the radishes to extract any juice. Scatter oranges over the radishes.
- Scatter walnuts and goat cheese to taste over the radishes and oranges. Pour macerated shallots and vinegar over top. Drizzle olive oil to taste (one to two tablespoons) over top. Scatter chives over top if using.
- Let sit a few minutes (or longer — it benefits from a brief rest) before serving.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Dress
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: watermelon, radish, salad, goat cheese, chives, oranges, winter
Our first winter CSA: 30lbs of root vegetables. I can’t say enough good things about our Roxbury Farm CSA, which delivers to Columbia County, the Capital Region, Westchester County and Manhattan. Everything from the arugula to the butternut squash has been exceptional.