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Savoring Kentucky showcases the wonders of Kentucky's food, farms, farmers, restaurants, chefs, distillers, brewers, orchards and markets. We applaud local food, its producers and champions. We delight in news of improvements in food and food systems. We take pleasure in fine food. We thank our wondrous sponsors for supporting our work and local goodness all around.

Daikon It!

It's chop salad season, when root vegetables and roast onions need some added crunch in the bowl. This winter, thanks to the abundance and inventiveness of the wonderful people at Elmwood Stock Farm, our CSA basket has brought us another source of crispness to add to the always welcome workhorse carrot.

Daikon from Elmwood Stock Farm, Georgetown, Kentucky

Daikon from Elmwood Stock Farm, Georgetown, Kentucky

Two or three of these big fellows grace each generous share. I'm late to the enjoyment of the turnip-y taste of big Asian radishes, but the crunch and a pre-salting treatment to reduce bitterness are winning my respect for the brawn this vegetable brings to the bowl.

Elmwood's excellent newsletter pointed me to this recipe for Easy Daikon Salad. It makes a kind of fresh-bite relish for a plate of rich wintry stew. I liked the results even more as an add-in to other salads and vegetables.

Daikon, hand-cut and salted, ready for salad

Daikon, hand-cut and salted, ready for salad

I see more promising recipes online, some of which include information that may help me become better friends with this fine local food. I particularly like the idea of including sesame oil in the dressing, and going even farther down Sesame Street by topping the dressed salad with toasted sesame seeds.

Each year our brilliant farmers fill more of our plates with locally grown food for all seasons. Elmwood's white, black, and watermelon radishes add a lot my cool weather meals. I have to admit I've even begun enjoying the little red guys that come in the spring, now that I eat radishes closer to year-round. I've grown accustomed to their taste. Rather like a habit one can always break—except that I like them too much now.

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