Watermelon Radish Cucumber Salad
on Apr 28, 2022, Updated May 31, 2023
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Lately, I’ve been turning my back on my beloved leafy greens in favor of salads that skip them all together. When you’re like me and your mainstay for countless meals is a salad, it’s totally acceptable to stretch the definition. If you toss something in vinaigrette, it’s a salad. Period.
So if you’ve never found a reason to get excited about radishes, this watermelon radish salad with cucumbers and avocados just might be it. During spring, I crave all things that are crisp, fresh and simple. That’s all. Celebrate really good ingredients and keep it easy.
What Are Watermelon Radishes?
Radishes are root vegetables in a range of shapes, sizes and colors from white to purple to pink. Their taste is peppery to the point of almost spicy depending on the variety. Often you will see them more as a garnish when they deserve to be the featured ingredient in my opinion.
On the outside watermelon radishes are an unassuming beige color with a pale green band. Then you slice them open, and you understand the reason for their name. They are a vibrant fuchsia that will instantly remind you of the summer fruit of their namesake. Overall they are more mild in flavor compared to other types.
How To Cut Watermelon Radishes
My preference is to slice radishes when I’m eating them raw rather than dicing them or cutting them into wedges. You can do this with a mandolin or a sharp knife and a cutting board. Peeling is not necessary.
Don’t worry about cutting them into perfect rounds. The most important thing is to slice this veggie very thin. As you can tell from the photos in this post, I ended up with two very fat radishes. Their diameter really tested my mandolin. That rustic imperfection is so much more appealing anyway, right?
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you need:
- Radishes: You can buy watermelon radishes at farmers markets and grocery stores. If you have trouble finding them, you can substitute with a mix of Easter egg radishes, but the color will only be at the edges since the flesh of this variety is white.
- Cucumbers: It’s best to use a long and slender English cucumber because it will have a thin skin and very few seeds
- Avocados give the salad a creamy counterpoint and mild flavor to balance out the radishes and cucumbers.
- Feta cheese crumbled and sprinkled on everything is a wonderfully salty accent. You can use goat cheese instead.
- Scallions are my go-to onion for their light green onion taste.
- Parsley: For chopped fresh herbs, I usually reach for parsley, but you could also go for cilantro if that’s what you have in your kitchen.
- Garlic: Since there is only 1 minced clove in the dressing, the garlic is subtle.
- Mustard helps to emulsify the vinaigrette and hold it together all while adding flavor.
- Lemon juice gives the salad something bright and citrusy. I prefer it rather than vinegar in the dressing.
- Olive oil: Make sure to use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Salt & pepper are whisked into the vinaigrette, which is an easy way to season the entire salad.
How To Make This Watermelon Radish Salad
- Combine the salad ingredients in a big bowl including the radish slices, cucumbers, avocados, feta, scallions and parsley.
- Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Pour the vinaigrette into to the salad. Take your time tossing everything around. The sliced radishes and cucumbers have a tendency to stick together, and you want every surface to make contact with the vinaigrette.
This is a great lunch or dinner salad especially when you want some color on the table. And I consider salads without greens as no-cook side dishes too. Or make a meal out of a trio of salads including this heirloom radish salad, a classic green salad with arugula and a white bean salad.
Because there are no leaves in this recipe, the salad does keep in the fridge up to 2 days. After that the radishes and cucumbers will lose their crispness. A warning, the avocados will turn brown even if they are tossed in the lemon vinaigrette, so don’t plan to make this ahead of time.
More Salad Recipes (Without Greens)
Watermelon Radish Cucumber Salad
- For salad
- 2 pounds watermelon radishes, about 2 large or 3 medium, thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- For vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- For the salad, combine the radishes, cucumbers, avocados, feta, scallions and parsley in a large bowl.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing into the salad, tossing to coat.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.