A New Year’s winter radish salad

Mysterious veggies | December 14, 2013 | By

For some reason, this post has me thinking about New Year’s. I’m a titch early, I know, but I was early for American Thanksgiving when I posted about Canadian Thanksgiving, so maybe being ahead of schedule is my new thing (in all parts of my life. Yeah, that’s it. Ahem. Please keep these intentions in mind when you get my Christmas card January 15).

I think it got me onto a New Year’s theme when I was thinking about kale. Did it seem like kale was everywhere in 2013? I guess it’s better for everyone’s health than the year of the Krispie Kreme donut was.

Anyway, I was thinking about kale because I grabbed some winter radishes at the market

Winter Radishes

for my next dangerous food, and I decided to serve them in a kale salad inspired by the recipe of a blogger chef whose hot cookbook I learned about in 2013. Thanks Emma from Dublin for introducing me to her! You should put this cookbook on your Christmas list if you haven’t seen it –  accessible but delicious recipes. And I love that she started as a blogger. Role models, you know?

Smitten kitchen

But then I had nothing more to say about New Year’s or radishes. Until I remembered the kid’s story about people struggling to pull a radish from the ground. Which, when Googled, turned out to be Russian folktale about people struggling to pull a turnip from the ground. But help me out here and let’s just say it was a winter radish they were trying to pull.

Thanks turniptime.co.uk

Thanks turniptime.co.uk

In case you haven’t been around young kids in a while and are unfamiliar with the story, the end is that it’s only with the help of the tiniest creature that the mission is accomplished. It takes everyone’s help to get the job done.

So in keeping with a New Year’s theme, I’ve decided to retell the winter radish story using personalities who were newsworthy in 2013. And after you read the story, you should make the kale salad to get ahead of any food resolutions you’re going to make New Year’s Eve because it’s super delicious and healthy and it’s good to stay ahead of schedule. And then you’re going to stay out of my spin class if you’re not a regular because it’s really annoying when Jan 1 rolls around and suddenly I can’t get a bike but then it’s open season again in March.

But I digress.

The 2013 winter radish story

One day, there was a big fat winter radish growing in the garden, and Ann needed to pull it up so that she could take lovely photos of it for a delicious kale salad that she was going to put on her award winning blog about dangerous food. But try as she might, she couldn’t get it out of the ground. She silently told herself that she should start going to more spin classes to improve her strength and fitness level.

But luckily, Miley Cyrus came along. At first she tried to swing from the radish and use her giant white tongue to pull it out, but then she reluctantly helped Ann pull, hoping it would become a photo op.

Next, baby North West came crawling by. She was late helping out because she was filling out paperwork to rename herself “Jane,” but after she finished that, she became excited at the prospect of having a normal life as a farmer living out of the spotlight, so she began to tug at Miley.

Prince George crawled onto the scene, sympathizing with North’s wish to become a regular person. He helped out, but he did keep whispering “commoners” under his breath as he struggled.

Soon Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis arrived. Everyone thought they might not help because they had better things to do than hang out with tabloid people, but neither could resist being helpful, so they jumped in immediately.

Edward Snowden strolled through but didn’t help, just texting the Russians to tell them that celebrities were hijacking their folk tale.

And then, finally, Rob Ford arrived. Because it takes absolutely no brains but significant girth to pull out a radish, he was successful, although he swore throughout the process and the babies had to cover their ears. Then he asked “Hey, what’s a radish and can I smoke it?”

The Moral? Don’t be like Rob Ford. Eat your radishes.

Kale salad with winter radish

Winter radish kale salad

(I don’t add amounts below because it depends on how many you’re serving for. I like a salad heavy in the “toppings”)

  • Kale, washed carefully and chopped, with the central spines sliced out and discarded
  • Walnuts or pecans
  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Soft goat or feta cheese
  • Honey mustard dressing with ingreds below – home made is easy!
  • 3Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey

Directions: Make your salad, then add the dressing at least 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat it – kale dressing needs to sink in to make the kale more tender.

Results: This is one of my very favourite salads! Helpful hint – nuts, fruit and cheese are always a winning salad combination. Winter radishes taste kind of like the red spring ones, but earthier. Rob Ford might even enjoy this dish. Rating: 4 Yums



  1. Leave a Reply

    December 14, 2013

    Haha, Loved the story told that way. I’m picturing Miley trying to rip the radish out with her tongue…amazing!

  2. Leave a Reply

    December 14, 2013

    You make me smile every time.. Lol. Wish I could write like YOU!! 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      December 15, 2013

      Aw, you made me smile back! Wish I could sew like you! (And you’re a great writer!)

  3. Leave a Reply

    Jackie Dale
    December 15, 2013

    Great way to tell your story of the salad! Looks great and I must try this. Quick question, are the radishes simply sliced and added as a topping or ate they meant to soak in dressing as well?
    Thx for the new kale salad idea as I too have been heavy on the kale bandwagon 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      December 15, 2013

      I say let it soak in! I do remember radishes going a funny colour if you try to do leftover next day salad though, so don’t leave it TOO long. But dressed kale salad does have great next day longevity generally (unlike Caesar salad which we all know becomes a limp mess).

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