This salad owes its genesis to two factors - it was served with scallops, and the dandelion greens at Whole Paycheck looked really good last week.
Let me explain. I'm a fan of bitter greens when mixed with the right complimentary ingredients. Bitter is one of the major flavors we taste on our tongue, and stimulating those tastebuds can add as much to a dish as stimulating the sweet, sour, salty, or umami tastebuds. Dandelions are quite bitter and the ones on sale at Whole Foods (Paycheck) looked like spring incarnate.
The scallops explain the daikon. I wanted a salad to go with a recipe involving miso glazed scallops. Just below the dandelions were some nice daikon radishes. I looked at the long white radish batons and pictured them cut up into 1" cross sections. They might look an awful lot like scallops and tie the salad into the scallop dish.
So here's the result. I encourage you to go buy some dandelion greens and make a salad with a bitter bite. Balance the bitter with some other flavors as I've done here and you won't be disappointed.
Dandelion Salad with Daikon "Scallops"
1 8" long daikon radish, peeled
olive oil, salt and pepper
1 big bunch of dandelion greens cleaned well (I recommend soaking in a big bowl of cold water)
1 green granny smith apple, cut into 16 wedges, core removed.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Peel the diakon and cut it into 3/4" rounds. Place rounds on a baking sheet, sprinkle olive oil on and season with a bit of salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30-40 minutes until radish is a little firmer than fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
When you cut the apple, you may want to immerse the slices in water that has a bit of lemon in it to prevent the apple from turning brown.
Cut the dandelion greens into manageable pieces - maybe cut in half or thirds. Add apples and toss.
Combine lemon juice and olive oil, whisking vigorously. Taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.
Toss salad with dressing and place daikon "scallops" on top. Serve as a starter with a scallop dish or as a faux scallop dish of it's own.
The savory, salty daikon, bitter dandelions, and sweetly tart green apples work together with the simple dressing to hit all the major tastebuds in your mouth. I think there's even a bit of umami flavor in the daikon.