CSA Box Meets Kitchen Garden
One of the best challenges with the CSA has been figuring out how to use new ingredients, not necessarily the ones we would choose while shopping at the farmers market. Watermelon radishes are beautiful and they offer a nice crunch. The radish tops make nice hearty salad greens. However, they are pepper bombs when raw!
Summer and Grill: Experiment
The summer is an excellent time to just try new things. Take some herbs from your garden (or farmers market or grocery), not your “go-to” favorites but some lesser used ones. Try them out and see what happens! Here we have Walleye roasted over a bed of watermelon radishes and herbs, and served with a grilled salad made of onion, watermelon radishes and the radish tops as greens. As long as you’re at it, try a new wine, too. Muscadet Sèvre et Maine is a classic seafood wine, and it shows very nicely with the light, aromatic seafood dish.
Château de L’Aiguillette Muscadet Sèvre et Maine ($12)
Eye: very bright barely off-white yellow/green color.
Nose: Fresh, smells a bit of the sea; not salty but somehow conveys the salt air essence. Also a bit vegetal, very nice.
Mouth: Very crisp, light body, nice acidity. A little tart.
Walleye Roasted on a Bed of Sage, Lavender and Watermelon Radishes
- 4 oz. of Walleye or other mild white fish per person
- Thinly sliced watermelon radishes, enough to form a single layer bed
- Fresh sage leaves, enough to form a bed
- Lavender – a couple of stems, per piece of fish, reserve a nice one to garnish each serving
Start with a double layer of heavy aluminum foil, roll up the edges to form a bit of a tray. Add layers of herbs, in this case a bed of sage leaves, then sprigs of lavender. Then add a layer of the radishes. Finally, place the fish on top and finish with a pinch of coarse salt and a grind of fresh pepper.
Carefully place the foil “tray” on the preheated grill. You don’t turn the fish, you’ll just need to judge when it’s done, which can be a bit of a challenge! On our gas grill on high, these walleye filets (about 1 inch thick) cooked in 10 minutes. The top of the fish still appeared to be a bit translucent, but when tested gently with a fork, the fish was done.
Roasting the fish over the herbs and radishes infused the fish with subtle elements of all their aromas. The effect was delicate, so you needn’t worry about overpowering the fish.
Watermelon Radish Grilled Salad
A few minutes before the fish goes on, throw a sliced onion and the remainder of the watermelon radish in a roasting basket on the grill, turning the veggies regularly. Toss the radish top greens on at the last minute or two, just enough to wilt them. If you’d like, you can top with your favorite dressing.
What’s your favorite wine to serve with a light seafood dish? Is there one you’d like to try but have never gotten around to? What are you waiting for!