Continuing my celebration of fast, cheap and easy vegetables, I turn to one of my favorite salad types, the chopped salad.
I don’t know what it is about having all of the components reduced to tiny, crunchy bits–perhaps the assurance of getting a smidge of everything in each bite?–but I love it, and long for a good one right about this time of year. So why wait? I bypassed the pink tomatoes at the supermarket and made a beeline for the radishes, carrots and celery.
Crunch is critical for a great chopped salad, and all three of these vegetables have plenty of it. Despite a short list of ingredients, the salad is big and bright, and it packs some lively heat from the peppery radishes. Nothing more than lemons–both the juice and zest–a splash of olive oil, dried dill, and a bit of salt comprise the dressing; simplicity can be so cheerful, and this dressing proves it.
I’m familiar with the the health benefits of carrots (thank you, Bugs), including their role in vision health, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and beta carotene, but I’ve never consider celery, nor radishes from a nutrition perspective. Until now.
Both radishes and celery are high in fiber, but pretty-in-pink radishes are also very high in vitamin C, folate, calcium, and iron. Humble celery, is equally impressive: it’s high in vitamins A and K, and also contains coumarins, natural compounds that help reduce the damage caused by free radicals, substances that can cause chronic health problems.
So grab your kitchen knife and get your crunch on!