I have been on a mission ever since I experimented recently with those turnips. This week it’s radishes or turp in Turkish. Here in Turkey they are a feature of the winter markets and are in a class of their own.
|a colourful market display|
By far and away my favourite is the big red one: crisp, not too spicy, and good with dips. My favourite treatment is to simply peel it and then grate a little with vivid red cabbage and bright orange carrot on a bed of fresh salad greens. This makes for a vibrant, healthy salad which is then drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. Great with fish or meat.
|my favourite winter salad: red radish, carrot and red cabbage|
Now, still using the big reds, you can do something different: take one and chop it up neatly into tiny pieces:
Mix with pomegranate molasses/ nar ekşişi, flaked red pepper/pul biber, sumac/sumak, parsley and some jewel-red pomegranate seeds with a little olive oil. This is inspired by a similar salad I had at Çiya, the renowned Kadıköy restaurant in Istanbul that specialises in food from south-eastern Turkey.
|with the sumac and red pepper flakes|
|radish salad with pomegranate and parsley|
Now for the devilish black radishes: these look very dramatic but be careful, they can be eyewateringly spicy. Here is a very unusual way of preparing them: again, peel and grate. Add salt, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper (omit if very spicy) AND the surprise ingredient, tahini/ tahin, a rich, buttery paste made from crushed sesame seeds. This was explained to me by Beyhan, our friend from Biber Evi, the boutique hotel in Assos, when we had lunch the day before I flew to Australia.
|black radish salad with tahini|
There is one last type of radish, the so-called çin turbu/Chinese radish or daikon radish, the long thin white one, but honestly I don't think it's very interesting.
Tell me how you eat your radishes - I would love to hear!