Balance in texture and flavor are always at the forefront of a chef’s mind. Here, the citrus and spice from the radish offer just that balance and is especially good when paired with roasted meats and rich sauces. Its vivid colors are the reason I call it a “Jewel” salad.
by Chef Tina Martini, The Medicine Chef
This jewel salad is a favorite of family and clients, alike. It began as a way to brighten a traditional holiday meal. I hope you enjoy the presentation: my version of the ever-popular salad-in-a-jar.
Creamy Key Lime Dressing
- 1/3 c Plain Greek Yogurt (Please, don’t use non-fat)*
- 1/3 c Grapeseed Oil Mayonnaise
- 1/4 c Honey
- 2 tsps Lime Zest
- 1 Tbls Lime Juice
- Salt to taste
Whisk ingredients together until smooth and silky. Chill until use.
- 1 medium Butter Lettuce, washed and dried
- 2 Ruby Grapefruits, supremed (see Macadamia Crusted Mahi for technique)
- 2 Naval Oranges, supremed
- 2 Blood Oranges, supremed (If available)
- 4-6 Red or Rainbow (Easter Egg) Radishes, cleaned, and cut into matchsticks (batonnet)¹
- 1 medium Pomegranate, Aerials removed ²
- 1/4 c Pumpkin Seeds, toasted (optional)
- Before this salad even goes on your menu, be sure your knife is razor sharp and then use your creativity to plate this salad. The butter lettuce can become a natural cup.
- Get a squeeze bottle from a “dollar” store. This is a most powerful plating weapon! Wield it with caution! You can also “drag” the dressing across the plate with a spoon.
- That blood orange bleeds! Put it down where you want it, and leave it alone : ) Watch Kristin Kish on Top Chef Duels, she always plates with tweezers.
- And above all…always chill your salad plates and forks.
¹ Batonnet Technique (pronounced bah-tow-NAY), A.K.A., Matchsticks: Wash and dry your radishes. Trim both ends. Slice across the radish, making coins. Stack a few coins at a time. Not too many coins or the slices slide, leaving you with uneven Batonnet. Now run your knife across the coins, leaving you with white sticks, and red ends. Très bon, Chef’s!
² Pom Hint: Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add pomegranates and chill 10 minutes. Using a very sharp paring knife, remove top and score just through the skin. Holding the pomegranate under the ice water, place your finger tips along the cut and crack open, away from you. This will expose the chambers of aerials. Break the pomegranate into smaller, more manageable pieces and separate the aerials. The magic occurs here: the fruit floats to the bottom; the skin and rind float to the top. I use a small mesh strainer to skim the top of the water. Drain aerials in a colander and pick out any undesirable pieces (if ice is mixed in, let it melt and re-drain.)
Phyto Facts: This is hormone balancing heaven for both men and women. The round shape of the citrus reminds us the mammary glands are protected by its limonene and the family of super-antioxidants, known as bioflavonoids. These phytonutrients destroy tumors before they can get a firm hold in the tissue. If you look at the connective tissue in the citrus flesh itself, you see the clue to the ability to build new collagen in our skin. Collagen holds the water you drink in the skin. The end result is plump, moist skin. Radishes are in the cruciferous vegetable family. This particular group of vegetables, in my opinion, are the number one way to prevent, treat and heal all types of hormone based cancers. Please see the phytonutrient chart for all of the specific names, there are too many to mention here. Here’s a great article detailing the many benefits of radishes. The dressing keeps our arteries flexible and clear. The yogurt, with it’s friendly bacteria, keeps the balance we need, to stop harmful bacteria from taking over our system. Bacteria do damage to our cells. When left unchecked, long term cellular damage leads to both acute and chronic disease. Last, but not least, the pomegranate. Ellagic acid fortifies the cellular walls against damage. It strengthens the immune system, and protects the vascular walls from thinning. And it’s not just me saying so, Queen Cleopatra felt the pomegranate was the secret of eternal beauty and Roman warriors drank the juice to fortify their internal armor. Rock on, beautiful warriors!
|by Chef Tina Martini, “The Medicine Chef” @MedicineChef | Facebook
Chef Martini is an experienced, well-versed television personality with a successful and proven track record. She holds a doctorate from Bastyr University in Naturopathy and a Nutrition degree from San Diego State University. She mixes cooking with nutrition, fitness and wellness!