Spring radish salad with chickpeas and almonds

Who would have expected radish to be my favourite vegetable this spring. I buy big bunches at a nearby food market every two days and then … I simply enjoy the beautiful pink, crunchy, slightly spicy radishes with a lot of satisfaction. During last, exceptionally long winter season, I have almost forgotten how delicious these seasonal spring vegetables can be. And I’m more than sure that it is this crispy, spicy character, combined with … salt (yes, just like that!) that evokes my culinary nostalgia and brings back childhood memories. But, coming back to the reality: this year I fill the jars with fermented radishes and garlic on a regular basis; I bake radishes with a little olive oil in the oven; I use young radish leaves like spinach – filling Italian erbazzone with them. But I have a special place in my heart for these raw, simple radish dishes. Here is my easy & filling spring salad in which these pink spring vegetables shine and crunch.

  • a few handfuls of rocket (optional: lamb’s lettuce or young spinach)
  • 1 large bunch of radish
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas (or one drained can, 400 ml)
  • 2 handfuls of almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 full tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 full tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste (1 flat tsp for me)
  • freshly ground pepper (a looot!)
  • optional: a little bit of lemon zest and juice

1. Wash and dry the radish and rocket. Drain the chickpeas on a strainer. Cut the radishes into quarters or halves, depending on their size.

2. In a hot pan, toast the almonds for a few minutes. Stir few times until they start to blush and you can smell a pleasant nutty aroma.

3. Let the roasted almonds cool slightly and then, using a long knife, chop them into smaller pieces.

4. At the bottom of a large bowl, prepare the dressing ingredients: grate or finely chop garlic, add chopped dill, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and salt. Mix.

5. Add the radish and chickpeas to the dressing bowl. Mix everything with the aromatic dressing.

6. On the plate: prepare the rocket leaves, add the radish and chickpeas. Sprinkle the whole thing with almonds, decorate with dill, and if you want more fresh, citrus flavour, grate a little lemon zest on top.

– It’s best to eat the salad right away or combine the dressing with vegetables just before serving. A sauce left on the vegetables for a long time changes their texture and draws the water out of them, while the lemon flavour disappears.

– The salad can be a filling lunch or breakfast. You can also serve it as part of your dinner.