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Baby lettuces with colourful watermelon radishes and pomelo are dressed with a sweet maple balsamic vinaigrette and almonds for a light salad that works beautifully in winter to counter all those rich dishes that cold weather invites.
I started getting a new CSA box recently which I have been quite pleased with. There have been some interesting finds that have shown up, like these small lettuce heads which came as part of the “stir fry mix”. They were just the sort of thing that would look amazing on a plate as part of simple salad. Within the same week we also got pomelos and watermelon radishes. Perfect for a photogenic salad – right when I was starting to focus heavily on improving my photography!
With a new light and shooting set up I think I’ve managed to better capture some of the beautiful colours of the radishes and lettuces. I got some feedback from food photographers about improving my light, props, and backgrounds. My new light box is actually made from simple hardware store finds and I managed to put it together in just a couple hours. The backgrounds took a little longer and were rather hampered by the cats. At one point there was a little trail of white paw prints across the floor… and the kitten was not happy about the subsequent paw scrub. But I am very pleased with the results of the new set up and I can only hope to get better! What do you think? What else should I focus on?
I know watermelon radishes can be difficult to find, but you can certainly substitute other large, mild varieties of radish, such as daikon or purple daikon. And the pomelo can easily be exchanged for grapefruit. The highlight of the salad that brings the acidity of the citrus and the heat of the radishes together is a maple balsamic dressing – with a hint of cinnamon. Add some well toasted almonds for that nice nutty, savory flavor and you get a salad that people take seconds of.
Watermelon Radish and Pomelo Salad
- ¼ lb/115g baby lettuces spring mix also works, washed and dried
- 1 med/125g watermelon radish sliced in 1/8th inch semi circles
- 1 pomelo segmented
- ¼ c/25g toasted sliced almonds
- 1 tbs/15ml pungent olive oil
- 1 tbs/15ml balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp/10ml maple syrup
- 1/8 th tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- Mix all dressing ingredients together and whisk well.
- To segment the pomelo (or grapefruit), cut the top and bottom off, approximately ½” thick to start with on a pomelo. Going around the fruit top to bottom, cut the rind and pith off. If you start with ½”, you can always cut more. Slice until all the white pith is gone and the membrane has been just removed. Slice each segment just at each side of the membrane. Remove any seeds.
- Toss lettuces (rip the leaves into bite size pieces if a little large), radishes, and pomelo with dressing.
- Plate and top with sliced almonds.