Posted by EmilyWednesday March 21, 2012
Our newest cookbook, Herbivoracious, contains 150 creative vegetarian recipes that are vibrant, healthy, and, not to mention, mouth-watering. Michael Natkin is a vegetarian author who has been writing an award winning blog by the same name since 2007. An accomplished photographer, Michael shot all of the book’s photographs himself, taking great care to capture the fresh elements of the food.
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And Michael’s story sure isn’t one to be overlooked either. A professional software engineer by day (since the age of 16!), his passion for food developed and thrived on nights and weekends. He has interned at Cafe Flora, Canlis, and NYC’s Dirt Candy, though never in a full-time capacity. But just last month, Michael announced that he is leaving his day job at Adobe to focus on his food writing, recipe development, and starting a culinary career with a pop-up restaurant in Seattle.
For a fresh taste of Michael’s Herbivoracious, which won’t be hitting bookstore shelves until May, try his Watermelon Radish and Watercress Salad. This salad is a perfect recipe utilizing seasonal, fresh ingredients that pack a lot of flavors and textures– just like the rest of the book!
Recipe: Watermelon Radish and Watercress Salad
Gluten-Free // Serves 4 // 10 Minutes
Summary: This delicious salad is driven purely by its beautiful ingredients; all you have to do is take a little care to arrange them nicely. Watermelon radishes are green on the outside, but when sliced you see that they are intensely red in the middle, looking much like tiny watermelons. If you have a mandoline, use it here: It is excellent for slicing them thinly and evenly. If you have difficulty finding watercress, check the refrigerated produce section of upscale markets. They often carry hydroponic watercress, making this peppery green, once strictly seasonal, available year-round. Look for bright, fresh leaves with no signs of wilting. The tart cress makes a great foil for the sweet figs and pomegranate seeds (or more technically, arils).
- 1 large watermelon radish, very thinly sliced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 handfuls watercress, rinsed and dried
- 1 lemon
- 4 ripe fresh figs, halved
- 1⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 16 shavings Parmigiano-Reggiano or other hard aged cheese
- 12 toasted walnut halves
- Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
- 1. Arrange a circle of watermelon radish slices on each of four chilled plates. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
- 2. Toss the watercress with a bit of the olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place a fluffy handful on each plate. This is the critical step to making the salad look nice—aim to make a tall, high mound in the center, and don’t let it spread out.
- 3. Add 2 fig halves, 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds, 4 cheese shavings, and 3 toasted walnut halves to each plate. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve immediately.