A few weeks ago, we were able to harvest some radishes that we had planted from seeds. One of my favorites is the French radishes with their oblong shape, light pink to red with pretty white tips. I love growing radishes during fall and winter since they germinate quickly and can be harvested within a few weeks of planting. The summer heat in San Diego tends to dry out the soil and turns their texture from crisp to spongy.
After four years of growing radishes, we have found many ways to enjoy them. On the day that they’re pulled, we love to dip them in a good French butter and sprinkled with sea salt. They’re perfect as a topping for tartines or shaved thinly and thrown in a salad. With the colder weather, we’ve been roasting them with olive oil and sea salt and let them be the heroes in our salads.
Since this salad was meant to be meatless, I wanted to add more flavor to the radishes and mixed in some za’atar with the olive oil. I didn’t cut off the tops given how much more vitamins they have than the roots. Even after roasting, they maintained their vibrancy and looked like little jewels atop the lentils. The whole salad was brought together with a little sweetness and crunch from the pomegranate seeds and a flavorful tahini dressing. This dish is great side for roasted chicken or grilled lamb, or a 7 minute egg if you need protein for a vegetarian meal.
Za’atar roasted radishes and lentils with a tahini dressing
1 cup of French style green lentils
6 cups of water
One bunch of mixed radishes, with their tops, washed and halved if large
1 tbsp of zaatar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsps of olive oil
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup of pomegranate seeds
2 tbsps of tahini
2 tbsps of water
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
¼ cup of olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the radishes in a roasting pan. Season with sea salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, combine the zaatar, chopped garlic, and olive oil. Drizzle the zaatar mixture over the radishes and roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
3. Cook lentils in a large saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
4. To make the tahini dressing, in a small bowl, whisk tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic until well combined and season with salt and pepper to taste. This dressing can be refrigerated up to a week if you want to make it ahead of time.
5. When ready to serve, transfer the lentils to a serving platter, top with roasted radishes, pomegranate, and drizzle the tahini dressing over the top.