NOLA and Watermelon Radish Salad

Part of my job is to take pictures of food. I wander through the aisles of the store, down the paths of the garden, and probably get too excited when I see the farm truck drive up in the morning.

New bok choy and carrots? HELL YES. That shit will photograph like woah. (That is the way my brain works. It ain’t pretty)

I also write about food. And Facebook about food. And tweet about food. Needless to say, it has led me to neglect this blog. Which is a bummer, because I love writing this blog. I can swear and ramble and who knows if anyone reads it, but I love it. So I’ll try to get better about it.

I promise.

First, take a look at these strawberries that we got in today. NOVEMBER 29th and we get fresh local strawberries? Oh the joys of Central Austin growing seasons.

Besides food I’ve been dipping my toe into newness. New town, new boy, new life. My heart misses the pine trees, the mitten clad mornings and frosted walks around Greenlake. It’s a unique feeling to choose to move away from all that you know and love, and learn to love all the new.

This was my first Thanksgiving where I wasn’t with all of my family. Instead, we took the long drive to Louisiana. We made our way through the flat Texas country side, where it occurred to me how damn big this state is.

We crossed over long bridges, my sister making mountains out of oil refineries. I spent my holiday weekend in New Orleans. A city that exudes magic.  The moss dripping from trees like cobwebbed tears and those buildings that look like something out of a history book. The city breathes with a vibrancy that is unmatched. It’s alive in a way that only it can claim. I found myself drawn into a home for the weekend, as they catered to my special diet and called me family. Their hospitality only furthered my love affair with the city.

The last night I found myself sitting on the floor of this jazz club in the French Quarter, close enough to the trumpet player that I feared for spittle drops on my leg. Dedicating the songs to my grandpa, tearing up at the saxophone solo and smiling ear to ear.

Filled to the brim with music.

Filled to the brim. That is exactly how New Orleans makes me feel.

So I am taking all of this in stride. Learning how to live as a Texan. Learning how to make happiness here.

I’m learning.

Kale and Watermelon Radish Salad

1 watermelon radish (prepared and pickled)

1 bunch kale

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp thyme

Black pepper

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

First you need to pickle your radishes.

All you need to do is combine 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp salt in a medium-sized bowl. Thinly slice the radish using a mandoline or chef’s knife, add to the bowl and stir to combine. You’ll want to let that stand for 30 minutes, or refrigerate up to a day before serving.

As your radish’s are pickling, wash the kale and pat off excess water. If the center stems are tender, trim off the bottom inch or two. If the stems are thick, cut or tear them out. Slice the leaves crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.

In a large bowl combine olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice, thyme and black pepper. Add a little bit more salt, if you’d like. Add the kale and use your hands to massage the dressing in the leaves until they soften and wilt.

Drain the radishes. Toss with the kale. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve.


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