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Roasted Watermelon Radish with Maple-Kissed Tahini Sauce


I love this unassuming root. It looks like a turnip, but then you slice into it...


And it looks just like a watermelon!


I picked up a few watermelon radishes at the recently opened Elroy's Fine Foods market here in town and wanted to do something other than slice them thin or pickle them. And I got to thinking about turnips. One of my favorites ways to prepare those is to roast them. So, I decided to try that preparation with these watermelon radishes.

Ingredients serves 4

Radishes
  • 4 cups watermelon radishes, scrubbed clean and thickly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used the local-to-me Morada salt blend from Big Sur Salts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Also needed: baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving

Tahini Sauce
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used the local-to-me Morada salt blend from Big Sur Salts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • water, as needed

Procedure

Radishes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Scrub and dry the watermelon radishes. Slice them with a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer to between 1/8 or 1/4" thick. Cut the rounds in half to make moons.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the radish slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the slices on the prepared baking sheet and place them in the preheated oven. Roast for 10 minutes. Then flip them over and roast for another 10 minutes. By the end of the roasting time, they should be fork-tender with some nicely charred spots. If not, return them to the oven and check every couple of minutes.

Tahini Sauce
You can place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until very smooth. I just did it in a small mixing bowl with a whisk. Add more water if needed to reach your desired consistency.


To serve, spread a layer of sauce on a serving platter. Top the tahini sauce with the roasted radishes.


Give the dish a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve immediately.


I rounded out this plant-based dinner with fresh tomatoes, pickled beets, and grilled onions and summer squash. I paired this dinner with a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

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