When I go grocery shopping, I always spend the bulk of my time in the produce aisle. I don’t think I’m alone in this. You always know what kind of oatmeal you like, what your shaving cream your husband uses, what brand of kitty litter you prefer. Into the cart it goes, clip clip clip.
But produce requires observation and choice. You must linger over the avocados, tapping the skin; roll over each onion to make sure you’re not buying a moldy one. Which pint of blueberries looks freshest, which roll of cabbage looks least wilted.
This is normal grocery store behavior, amiright?
Well the other day, I was standing, drop-jawed, in the produce aisle, trying to think about what would perfectly compliment lo bok radish I had just dropped into my cart.
I’d never seen a lo bok before, and was awed that this bulky heather-green topped root could even be a turnip. I was even more awed that our semi rural Ohio grocery store even had this. But if my Kroger has it, than yours does too. And you need to pick one up.
Okay, so back to my story. I was standing there and my phone had just finished telling me that lo boks had a sharp and snappy flavor. I guess I was taking too long to select my radish pairing because some scruffy guy in a Harley shirt looked right at me and goes,
“just pick somethin’, honey!!! just pick somethin’!” waving his hands in the air like I’d just farted on his mom.
So I picked something. Something syrupy to compliment the pepper kick of the radish. Gala apples and poppable green grapes. Paired with the radish, they made a sweet tart relish that’s lush and refreshing, like biting into the purest snowball.
I’d just gotten some precious za’atar a few days prior, so I sprinkled to over some Buddha bowl standards (roast veggies and chickpeas). If you don’t have za’atar, you can just use chili pepper and salt, tajin seasoning, or sumac. Whatever. Buddha bowls are pretty forgiving, pliant, open to every wonder of produce this earth has to offer. There’s probably a clumsy metaphor in there somewhere, but I feel like a lecture of that sort is an annoying way to end a blog post. Like, y’all didn’t come here for a nag.
Y’all came here for food, and here it is! Happy Monday, loves.
This simple apple-radish-grape relish makes a huge serving -- probably more that you'll need for the bowl. You can feel free to cut the relish recipe in half
- 1/4 cup za'atar
- 1 lb carrots
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 gala or fiji apples
- 2 cups of green grapes
- 1 lb lo bok radish
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Drain the chickpeas and pat dry.
- Peel the carrots and slice them lengthwise.
- Place the carrots and chickpeas on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with the za'atar. Toss to coat evenly.
- Roast the carrots and chickpeas for 20 minutes.
- While the carrots and chickpeas are roasting, peel the radish and spiralize it to noodles. Use a kitchen scissors to cut the noodles to smaller fideos.
- Spiralize the apples and cut them into fideos as well.
- Slice the grapes in half, or smaller if you want.
- Toss the apple fideos, the lo bok fideos, and the grapes together.
- When the carrots and chickpeas are done roasting, combine them with the relish.