Serves: Makes 6 servings
- 2 large bunches watercress or arugula, tough stems removed (about 3 lightly packed quarts after trimming)
- 1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise
- 1 large watermelon radish, about the size of a baseball, thickly peeled and halved
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces ricotta salata cheese
Procedures:With their pale green skin, watermelon radishes give no hint of the peppermint pink flesh inside. Although the interior is rarely as deeply colored as watermelon, it is eyecatching when contrasted with white fennel and deeply hued greens. A mandoline, V-slicer, or other manual vegetable slicer makes it easy to shave the vegetables. Well-grown watermelon radishes are crunchy and mild, never spongy or hot.
- Put the watercress or arugula in a large salad bowl. With a mandoline or other manual vegetable slicer, or by hand with a chef's knife, shave the fennel thinly crosswise. Do the same with the radish halves. Put the shaved fennel and radish in the salad bowl and toss with your hands to mix.
- To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, fish sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the salad with just enough of dressing to coat the vegetables lightly; you may not need it all. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired. With a cheese plane or vegetable peeler, shave the ricotta salata thinly into the salad. Toss gently so as not to break up the cheese too much. Serve immediately.