(And yes, as SlashFood pointed out and I'd already discovered, it's the ONLY vegetable that starts with the Letter D -- which for some reason is being indubitably if dubiously celebrated over in those environs.)
I tend to forget about vegetable salads during the winter. My mistake! This simple daikon-pepper-watercress combination tasted so fresh and alive.
So ... what's daikon? Japanese radish, I've seen it called, also Chinese radish, Asian radish and Chinese turnip. The syllables -- says Epicurious -- mean big (dai) and root (kon) in Japanese.
It's sweet and wet and has wonderful tooth-crunch. There's no bitter bite of radish nor woodiness of jicama. It peels as easily as a carrot and slices as easily as a cucumber. It's GREAT!
NUTRITION NOTES A whole pound of daikon has only 82 calories. In the Weight Watchers world, this daikon-pepper combination is a "zero point" salad, both filling and nutritious. It's also low-carb, low-calorie and low-cholesterol. Daikon would be a terrific addition to crispy vegetable platters or diced/grated into fresh slaws.
NEXT TIME No watercress? No problem: substitute cilantro or even parsley. And next time I'll skip the fussy-to-cut and fussy-to-eat matchsticks and just dice the daikon and peppers.
DAIKON & PEPPER SALAD
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (or none ... reduced from 4 tablespoons)
8 ounces daikon, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, diced (the inspiring recipe called for two peppers)
4 ounces watercress, chopped (the inspiring recipe called for 12 cups, that'd be a LOT)
Per Serving: 34 Cal (30% from Fat, 15% from Protein, 56% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 5 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb3; 37 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 24 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 0 points
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Gourmet December 1992