Radish and Borage Leaf Salsa

Radishes are one of the quickest foods you can grow, from seed to plate in just 4-5 weeks, and they are a great spring food with their crisp, crunchy texture and hot, peppery yet fresh flavour. I’ve gone from hardly liking them at all to considering them a bit of a wonder-veg. Now is the time that the first crops of spring radishes are ready to harvest and pulling them up out of the earth on a crisp, cool morning and refreshing them in some ice cold water is all the prep they need. I can never resist eating at least one of them before I even make it back to the kitchen! I only grew the French Breakfast variety last year and absolutely loved them so I’m growing those again, but I’ll also be trying Cherry Belle this year.

We grew borage in our herb garden last year and were amazed at how quickly it grew, the sheer number of flowers it produced, and how mad the bees went for it. The number of bees it brought to the garden made it a must-have for this year too! Thankfully it self-seeds prolifically so we should have a consistent supply of borage for years to come. At this time of year the young leaves are tender with a flavour that is a great alternative to cucumbers in this salsa given that they’re not in season until later in the summer. The leaves have small hairs that can be a bit off-putting to eat, but they’re not noticeable if the leaves are chopped very finely and mixed into salads or dips (they’d make a good tzatziki-inspired yoghurt dip).

This fresh, peppery yet cooling salsa is easy to make and is a great accompaniment to fish. I love to enjoy it with smoked salmon pate on an oatcake, with some cream cheese atop a rye cracker, or as a simple salsa to eat with tortilla chips. Depending on what flavours you like or how you’re planning to use it, you could add in chopped dill or chopped parsley and enhance it even more.

Radish and Borage Leaf Salsa Recipe

Ingredients

  • 200g radishes, finely chopped
  • 4-5 young borage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, grated
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional herbs such as dill or parsley

Method

  1. Chop everything finely, especially the borage and parsley leaves. I like to chop the radishes into a fine dice for this salsa, but you could chop them into quarters if you want this to be more of a side-salad with a chunky vibe. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. In a serving bowl, first add the finely chopped red onion before pouring over the lemon juice. This will soften the flavour of the onion slightly so it doesn’t overpower the salsa. Add the olive oil and salt, and stir vigorously.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, add the radishes, borage and parsley to the red onion and dressing, and tumble everything together so the radishes have a good covering of the dressing. Serve immediately as the radishes will lose their crunchiness over time and can become grainy. Perfect with fish, tortilla chips or on a rye crispbread with some cream cheese.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments or tag me in your creations on Instagram @plotandlane – I love to see and share what these recipes inspire you to make.

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