I find it amazing the way my tastes have changed in the past few months.
Cutting back considerably on sugar and gluten has had a pretty profound impact on the way I eat and the food that I crave. When I used to plan a meal for friends and family, I almost always started with dessert. I could dream up wildly decadent desserts by the dozen. The only thing holding me back was my limited time in the kitchen.
Now, dessert rarely even crosses my mind. I enjoy a sweet treat here and there, but it’s not something I find myself dreaming up while I’m in the shower or out for a walk. It’s left me open to a whole new realm of inspiration when it comes to recipes.
I find myself giving our weekly CSA share a lot more consideration before I write things off as “just a salad” or eat the vegetables just to be done with them. Something as simple as a bag of fresh spinach or a bunch of spring onions will leave me dreaming up a zillion different ways to use them.
Last week’s box included a lovely bunch of fresh radishes. I previously didn’t care much for radishes, but this year I can’t get enough of them. After enjoying them in slaws and salads the past few weeks, I decided that I wanted to make a radish dip for the Mother’s Day picnic we were hosting over the weekend. I had seen a few recipes online, so I bookmarked one that looked good and added the ingredients to my grocery list – sour cream, feta cheese, and dill.
As I strolled through the cheese section at the store, my eyes landed on some lovely queso fresco. Sure, feta was the cheese on the list, but I couldn’t get the queso fresco out of my mind. I started reworking the dip in my head… Inspiration.
I’d use queso fresco instead of the feta cheese. And, why not stick to more of a Mexican flavor and use cilantro in place of dill? I found myself obsessing over the simple radish dip the rest of the day.
When I made the dip later that evening, I could hardly contain my excitement. The mild, creamy cheese blended perfectly with the slightly sweet radishes. The cilantro added a bit of a citrusy punch without overpowering the dip. I went back for a taste (or two) before putting it in the refrigerator overnight. I couldn’t wait to serve my new creation.
When it came to figuring out what to make for dessert, I found myself whipping up a lemon pound cake “just to get it done.” Oh, how things have changed.
Radish Dip with Cilantro and Queso Fresco
Makes about 4 cups
(Loosely adapted from Martha Stewart)
This dip can be made up to 24 hours in advance, making it perfect for summer picnics and other get togethers. In order to keep the scallions from overpowering the dip as it chills, simply sprinkle them on top as a garnish (or even stir them into the dip) when you are ready to serve. Just add your favorite crackers or veggies, and enjoy!
- 16 ounces sour cream
- 1 cup radishes, shredded
- 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lemon
- Kosher salt
- 2 – 3 scallions, chopped
- Additional radishes and queso fresco to garnish
Combine the sour cream, radishes, queso fresco, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the mixture, and season with salt. Stir until everything is well combined. Then, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Before serving, garnish with chopped scallions and some additional sliced radishes and queso fresco.