This creamy radish salad brings the often-overlooked vegetable to the front of the stage. A simple trick of briefly salting the radishes reduces their spicy harshness and increases their crispness, while fresh herbs and lemon brighten the whole dish. A salad can’t get much simpler than this.
Table of contents
Why I Love This Recipe
For starters, I love a simple vegetable salad, and it seems you all do too! My Simple Fennel Salad is a favorite amongst readers, and if you haven’t made it already, this Simple Celery Salad is also a winning side dish.
Aside from vegetables and simplicity in the kitchen, I love that this radish salad highlights the radishes and allow them to shine in their own right. A brief swim in salt water crisps the radishes even more while taking the spicy edge off. This salad also features raw shallots, so I toss them in the salt water too to rinse away some of their potency.
And finally, the drained radishes and shallot get coated in a yogurt dill dressing which can totally be modified with whatever herbs you like best.
Radishes, be sure to give the radishes a good rinse before slicing (especially if they came with greens intact).
Shallot, use a small shallot or half of a large. Shallot can be pretty strong, especially when used raw.
Plain whole milk Greek yogurt, whole milk (or full-fat) is key. We aren’t adding any additional fat to the salad, so a whole milk Greek yogurt is important to creating a creamy and flavorful salad.
Lemon juice is whisked into the Greek yogurt for some bright tang. Feel free to sprinkle some minced lemon zest over the salad for even more brightness.
Fresh herbs, I like to use a combination of fresh mint and fresh dill, though you can absolutely use a combination of any tender herb such as basil, chives or cilantro.
Salting the Radishes & Shallot
The thinly sliced radishes and shallot first get a brief soak in salt water before getting tossed with the uber-simple Greek yogurt dressing. I learned this trick from Mark Bittman and it’s a great way to take the spicy edge off the radishes and reduce some of the potency of raw shallot. After 15 minutes, the shallot and radishes get drained and the rest of the salad is made right in the same bowl.
FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips
I recommend using a Japanese mandoline. This simple piece of kitchen equipment has an incredibly sharp blade, is easy to use (and store), makes the process of slicing very quick, and is reasonably priced. Simply put, a mandoline makes an easy salad recipe even easier!
This radish salad can be made up to 1 day ahead of time. The radishes won’t be quite as crisp, but the dressing will take on a gorgeous pink hue. If you do make this ahead of time, I recommend waiting to add the fresh herbs, or adding some additional fresh herbs, right before serving.
I haven’t tested this, but you could try using dairy-free yogurt. It’s likely the dressing won’t be as thick and creamy as it is with Greek yogurt.
You can absolutely use the radish greens in this recipe. Just make sure you rinse them really well, radish greens often have a lot of dirt and sand in them.
Variations on this salad recipe
- Use sour cream instead of Greek yogurt for an ultra-creamy and tangy salad.
- Use chopped scallions (aka green onions) instead of shallots for a more mild onion flavor. (Skip the soaking in salt water.)
- Swap the shallots out for red onion and add fresh cilantro instead of the dill.
- Add thinly sliced English cucumber.
- A drizzle of olive oil at the end would be delicious and very welcome.
- Add crumbled goat cheese for a bit more creaminess.
Simple Radish Salad with Herbs
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 bunches radishes, thinly sliced (1½ pounds)
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh tender herbs such as dill, mint, chives, basil, or cilantro
- In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups cold water and 2 teaspoons kosher salt until dissolved. Add radishes and shallots; let sit 15 minutes.
- Drain radishes and shallots in a colander. Wipe bowl dry then add yogurt and lemon juice; whisk to combine. Add drained radishes and shallot, dill and mint. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste.