Orange and Radish Salad with Pistachios

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Orange and Radish Salad with Pistachios

Orange and Radish Salad with Pistachios

Jan 13, 2017Recipes, Winter

My husband and I decided to have an after the holidays, catch up-get together with our neighbors (also a good excuse for me to stretch my culinary muscles and cook for other people.)  Since we had just had a couple of months of heavy, traditional eating, I thought it might be nice to do a sort of Mediterranean mezze theme.  I picked this to serve as a colorful, somewhat acidic accompaniment to some fattier dishes.  It worked like a charm.  I was not able to get blood oranges, so substituted Cara Cara navels instead along with regular navels.  Both were juicy and bright with the former kind of having a pink grapefruit color.  I used a couple types of radish along with the daikon and subbed in walnut oil for the pistachio.  It was a beautiful counterpoint to the lamb meatballs, hummus, and feta dishes.  If radishes have a bit too much bite to them for you, I found that sitting in the marinade really calmed things down, so don’t be afraid to give this gorgeous salad a try.



  • 2 blood oranges (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 medium navel oranges(about 1 pound)
  •  Fleur de sel or coarse sea salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
  • 6 ounces radishes (about 1 cup sliced)
  • 4 ounces daikon radish (about 1/3 daikon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  •  teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
  •  Pinch cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pistachio oil
  • ¼ cup lightly toasted unsalted pistachios (about 1 ounce)


  1. Remove orange peels: Cut off both ends of the oranges. Stand them up on the cut side and remove the rest of the peel and pith by cutting away strips; move your knife down the sides of the orange from top to bottom. Use a cutting board with a canal for catching juices, and cut oranges, crosswise, into rounds. Place in a bowl and tip in juices. Add fleur de sel and chopped mint, and toss together.
  2. Slice radishes and daikon as thin as you can. (Use a mandolin or a Japanese slicer if you have one.) Place in separate bowl and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, agave, cinnamon, cayenne and pistachio oil. Divide evenly among the two bowls with oranges and radishes, and toss.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to lift oranges from juices that accumulate in bowl and arrange, with radishes, on a platter or plates. Just before serving, spoon on the juices and dressing left behind in bowl, and top with pistachios and mint.

Before I put this salad together, I could imagine how it would feel and taste in my mouth: the juicy, sweet oranges playing against the crisp, pungent radishes. The combination was inspired by an orange, radish and carrot salad in Sally Butcher’s charming book “Salmagundi: A Celebration of Salads From Around the World.”

The salad is a showcase for citrus, which is in season in California. Navels are particularly good right now, both the regular variety and the darker pink-fleshed Cara Cara oranges that taste like a cross between an orange and a pink grapefruit. I fell in love with blood oranges when I lived in Paris years ago, and although the Moro variety that we get in the United States doesn’t have quite as intense a red-berry flavor as the Mediterranean fruit, its color is hard to resist.

Here I use a combination of blood oranges and navels, and a beautiful mix of red and purple radishes and daikon. Dress this bright mixture with roasted pistachio oil, which has a mild nutty flavor that marries beautifully with the citrus.

Put the prepared oranges and radishes in separate bowls and use a slotted spoon to remove the orange slices from the juices. Just before serving, arrange the oranges and radishes on a platter or on plates, spoon on the dressing and juices, and sprinkle with pistachios. You can also layer the elements, undressed, and pour on the liquids right before serving.

For a juicier version, skip the slotted spoon and toss all of the ingredients together for a quenching salad that is best served in bowls.