So what exactly is a Watermelon radish? It's a root vegetable that originated in China and is an heirloom variety of the Daikon radish. It is a member of the Brassica (mustard) family along with arugula, broccoli and turnips. It tastes nothing like a watermelon but rather has a slight peppery yet sweet nutty taste. Once cooked they loose their color and crispness so I like eating them raw.
They are super tasty when sprinkled with flaky sea salt, ground pepper and olive oil. Fantastic in salads, pair well with cheese, and are the perfect topping for a crostini. Also delicious when pickled. They are low in calories, high in anti-oxidants and are chalk full of phytochemicals including beta-carotene. The height of the Watermelon radish season is usually from late fall through spring. With having such a late spring this year, there are some still knocking around the local markets in CT. These beautiful vegetables thrive in cold soil so this recipe will take you right though the holidays.
Here I have paired raw Watermelon radish with Fleur Verte, which is a goat cheese encrusted with dried thyme, tarragon and red peppercorns. The peppercorn in the cheese pulls out the flavor of the Watermelon radish and creates a rich creamy peppery bite! You can usually find Fleur Verte at a cheese shop or in Whole Foods. I garnished each crostini with fennel fronds from the garden but dill would be just as delish. Enjoy!
Watermelon Radish and Fleur Verte Chèvre Crostini
- 1 baguette
- 4-6 ounces Fleur Verte goat cheese (or any herb chèvre will do)
- 1 Watermelon radish, peeled and sliced in thin quarters (it does not need to be peeled, just well scrubbed, but I like having the pink flesh stand out more and the flavor is more pungent)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch fennel fronds or dill for garnish
- Maldon sea salt and ground pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
- Slice the baguette on the angle ¼ inch thick.
- Place on a pan and drizzle all over with a little olive oil.
- Once the oven is hot, place in for 3-5 minutes letting it get golden and toasty.
- Remove from the oven, and spread a layer of goat cheese on each slice of bread.
- Place one slice of radish on top, drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, and crack freshly ground pepper all over.
- Garnish with some fennel fronds or dill.
- Sprinkle a little sea salt over each crostini.