Hanukkah Radish Salad
Following in the Maccabean folkloric tradition, radish salad makes for a delicious Hanukkah appetizer.
Makes 24 appetizers
1 pound large fresh red radishes (about 2 dozen)
2 large scallions
2 Tablespoons chicken fat (or extra virgin olive oil)
1-1⁄2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (approximately 10 grinds)
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 firm brick of Pumpernickel bread or 3 whole wheat pitas
1 head Bibb lettuce (optional)
Extra chicken fat for spreading on bread (optional)
Coarse sea salt for garnish
- Thinly slice the radishes.
- Trim off the very ends of the scallions and slice them lengthwise in half through the white part. Cut the scallions crosswise into thin slices, using all of the green part as well, leaving you about 2⁄3 cup.
- Combine the radishes, scallions, chicken fat or olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar or honey in a medium bowl. Toss gently. Refrigerate for 1⁄2 hour to meld flavors.
- Cut thin pumpernickel slices in half on the diagonal or cut 8 wedges from each pita. Lightly toast the breads so they are slightly crisp.
- Top a small mound of radish salad on each piece of toast and sprinkle with a pinch of salt as desired. Alternatively, place a few lettuce leaves on a salad plate, and top with some of the radish salad. Place a few triangles of bread on the side, and serve. Yield: 24 appetizers or a salad for 6–8 people.
- Red radishes tend to bleed their color when exposed to acidic foods for long periods of time, so add vinegar into radish salads an hour before serving.
- When using a moist topping on bread, it is advisable to spread bread first with oil or fat; this barrier will help prevent your bread from getting soggy.