Look at the colour of these beautiful leaves, don’t you think they look amazing on a plate? It’s a festival of textures and colours. They are almost velvety in touch and have deep purple hue. To complement the purples we have green and purple mustard greens with their beautiful frayed leaves. And last but not least spiky, green radish leaves. That’s something new – I used to put them to rubbish, but as you might know radish leaves are edible and you should not be afraid to add them to your salads.
I got this beautiful purple leaves in my weekly veggie box and I fell in love with their texture and colour. Quick research and looks like it’s edible wild plant called Orach also known as Saltbush, Garden Orache, Red Orache, Mountain Spinach, or French Spinach – plant of many names. They are found along North America’s coasts and on the shores of alkaline lakes inland. They are also found along seashores from the Mediterranean countries to inland areas in North Africa and eastward to Turkey and central Siberia. Some species prefer dry, salty soils and can be found in desert areas. The entire plant is edible raw or boiled. Young leaves and shoots have a mild chard-like flavour with added salt. They can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked by steaming or stir frying. They are also used to make a slightly sour soup and can be boiled with pasta to turn it pink.
For me in comparison to mustard greens and radish leaves they are gentle and velvety, very pleasurable to eat. Now let’s talk about radish leaves for a second. Their hairy and prickly texture don’t seem to be attractive for your mouth, and eating their spiky leaves might be a little bit weird. But they didn’t harmed me 🙂 And they are full of essential vitamins and minerals.
If you’re afraid to eat them in a salad they can also be sautéed with garlic and used as a side dish, chopped up and used as toppings for soups, noodles and sandwiches. You can also use them as a base for dressings, blended and mixed with olive oil, like I did in this recipe.
To finish up this salad I added boiled egg (the yellow-orange colour goes perfectly with purple) and dressing made with avocado – that’s for some fat content that will keeps me full for longer, as it was my breakfast salad.
I think it’s a great idea if you’re expecting guests who likes veggies, because orach and mustard greens look great on the plate arranged with other veggies, can look amazing on summer party table. I can imagine having this salad in a sunny garden on a lazy Sunday morning.
summer radish salad
with avocado and radish leaf dressing
- Purple Orach leaves (also known as arrach, mountain spinach and saltbush)
- mustard greens or rocket
- radish with leaves
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of natural rock salt
- lemon pepper or freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of nigella seeds
- optionally to spice up your dressing: chilli flakes, minced garlic or sweet chilli sauce/sriracha
First boil the eggs. I cooked mine for about 4 minutes as I like them soft. Then cool them down.
Wash all your greens and radish to get rid of any remains of soil. Slice radishes, do not bin the leaves. Leave the nicest looking leaves to put to the salad, the rest place in a blender. Place also half of avocado to a blender adding lemon juice, pinch of salt, lemon pepper, 2 tbsp of olive oil ald about 1-2 tbsp of cold water. Water will thin the sauce making it more dressing like. Blend it all together until you get nice and smooth texture, add some more water if you feel like. You can spice up your dressing adding chilli flakes, minced garlic, or leave it as it is and add a splash of sweet chilli sauce or sriracha on top of your salad.
Arrange all the leaves on the plate, also adding some of the radish leaves. Add sliced radish and egg. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Put some avocado and radish leaf dressing and serve. I also added some nigella seeds for extra flavour and as visual interest.
Source of knowledge:
Orach (Saltbush) – edible wild plant – how to find, identify, prepare, and other uses for survival.