Radish & Sesame Winter Salad

There’s sesame in three ways in this lovely salad!

After the holidays are over, all I want to eat is salads and light meals. My body has long since told me to behave, and I certainly listen as I turn the page on the calendar. While we try to keep things fairly healthy even during this time of year, there are many treats to be found and once-a-year indulgences, but the fridge is cleared out and we are more than satisfied and ready to keep things a bit more reasonable.

Look for color!

      The co-ops and winter CSAs have an abundance of winter radishes right now in beautiful colors: pink, black (really spicy), purple, red. In the grey and white of a northern winter, the color is important to help lift the mood. Additionally, the more color in a vegetable, the higher the mineral content.

Sesame, sesame, and more sesame

      Tangy arugula provides the base here, colorful radishes catch the eye, we get a little extra zing from the sweet peppers, and everything has a hint of sesame. We’ve used tahini in the dressing along with toasted sesame oil, and topped everything off with toasted black sesame seeds.

Happy hunter gathering!

      If you can’t find these radishes, any favorite radish will do here, so feel free to substitute. Mix and match what you can find, or use just one variety.

      Make the salad, put on your shades, and delight in a lively side dish that is perfect for any January meal.

Radish & Sesame Winter Salad

The salad:

  • 2 or 3 cups arugula
  • Two large watermelon radishes, sliced thinly
  • 4 or 5 small red radishes, sliced thinly
  • 2 mini yellow sweet peppers, sliced thinly
  • ½ small purple onion, sliced thinly and chopped
  • Sprinkle of toasted black sesame seeds*


  • 1 fat tbsp. tahini 
  • 1 modest tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. capers, rough crush
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup or honey
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. or so water to thin a bit

Prepare a bed of arugula on a large plate or platter. Arrange the radishes on top, and garish with the onions and peppers.

In a small canning or other jar, combine all dressing ingredients and shake well. Taste with a bit of radish for seasoning.

Dress the salad lightly and sprinkle with the seeds. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side.

*To toast the seeds: Place a tablespoon of sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Keep the pan moving so the seeds don’t burn, and when fragrant, remove to a plate so they stop toasting. Such a difference toasting makes!

These humble little watermelon radishes offer a big surprise of color when you cut them open! Filled with color, flavor, and a peppery kick!

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85 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful and yummie

    1. Thank you Maria! We all enjoyed the lovely sesame flavor!

  2. Salad that looks like a piece of art – nice. 🙂

    1. Thanks Judy! It’s been so darn grey here every day, got to add some color to life!

  3. Bernadette says:

    Dot, this salad could be a painting. It is such a delight to the eye. I particularly like that you used a waffle cut on the radishes.

    1. Thanks Bernie! I got a new mandolin for Christmas and I’ve been experimenting. I love it! Cuisinart, highly recommended, and not expensive.

  4. Chef Mimi says:

    Absolutely beautiful! It’s almost too pretty to eat.

    1. Thanks Mimi! I know, but we did anyway!

  5. sunisanthosh says:

    Looks so colorful!

    1. It’s definitely a bright spot in the kitchen!

  6. Jenna says:

    So pretty! I’ve never seen watermelon radishes, wow, a feast for the eyes for sure!

    1. Thank you Jenna! They are so beautiful to behold, they always make me smile!

  7. Staci Troilo says:

    That looks lovely and refreshing. I look for lighter foods after the rich recipes of the holidays, too. This certainly fits the bill. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Staci! The salad is light, but nice and crunchy so it is satisfying as well!

  8. Suzassippi says:

    I started back on salad and plant based yesterday. This looks like an interesting one to try and I am heading to the store today anyway! As always, I love the plate you have used, also. Those blue leaves fascinate me mixed with the colors of the salad!

    1. I love the dressing! Let me know what you think Suz!

      1. Suzassippi says:

        I will have to make a trip to Fresh Market in Memphis–not a radish to be found, especially not a watermelon radish! Apparently, that is too exotic for Oxford. I have been planning a trip to the city anyway, so sounds like a good excuse to head north.

      2. Good luck in your hunter gathering!

      3. Happy hunter gathering!

  9. Maggie says:

    Our granddaughter recently discovered she has a sesame allergy. It is severe enough she must carry an epi-pen. As of January 1st, it is a required allergen to list in product ingredients. I love sesame but we will be reducing how much and when we have it now.

    1. Oh, that is too bad Maggie! My daughter and my granddaughter (son’s daughter) both have severe tree nut and peanut allergies. The granddaughter has both, and she is also allergic to sesame and now some soy products as well.
      We spend a lot of time reading labels!

      1. Maggie says:

        Sadly, with the new labeling requirements, many companies simply choose to label all their products as containing sesame rather than the expense of proper labeling. It makes it more difficult for those with allergies to eat at their establishments. I was surprised how many bread products contain sesame.

      2. Lots of breads contain sesame, or are produced in a facility that uses sesame.
        To make matters worse, you have to check every package even if you have checked in the past. Hershey’s chocolate bars, for example, are made at two facilities. One is nut safe, the other is not, so you have to check each bar!

      3. Maggie says:

        They don’t make it easy.

      4. Maggie says:

        My reply went off into oblivion….many companies are choosing to label all their foods as possibly containing sesame rather than isolating what actually does. It makes it harder for those with allergies to eat outside their homes. It is surprising how many commercial breads contain sesame.

      5. That’s a shame! But, it does get a little easier as you maneuver through the different foods. Some things will never be safe, Chinese takeout for example. Too much potential cross-contamination in kitchens.

  10. gabychops says:

    Thankyou, Dorothy, forthe beautifully presented winter salad. A treat for the eyes as well as the mouth!


    1. Thanks Joanna! I love a salad that makes everyone smile!

  11. Ally Bean says:

    I don’t have the vegetables you used, but I do have all the ingredients for the dressing right here, right now. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I hope you enjoy the dressing as much as we do!

  12. Looks beautiful and I bet tasted as good as it looks.

    1. Thanks Jovina! It was absolutely delicious, and the dressing is one of my new favorites.

  13. Joni says:

    It looks too pretty to eat!

    1. I know Joni! But we did anyway!

  14. Watermelon radishes are beautiful. I have a hard time finding them in the markets around me.

    1. Farmers markets and stands and winter CSAs are your best bet. I also find them at Healthy Living in Burlington, a lot like Whole Foods, and it carries lots of local produce.

  15. NativeNM says:

    Your winter salad looks like springtime with all those bright colors! I have not come across the watermelon radishes but they are gorgeous in in your salad.

    1. Thank you Jan! The radishes are definitely a cool weather crop, we start seeing them the end of fall when the winter squashes start to appear.

  16. Eha says:

    What a beautiful salad I’ll certainly make soonest ! Here in Australia we do have readishes all year round but only the ordinary red ones usually grace the supermarket shelves. Must do some ‘research’ at farmers’ markets ! Love the use of the rocket (as we call arugula) and cannot wait to try your tahini dressing – thank you for this real ‘newbie’ recipe . . .

    1. Thank you so much!
      I find the watermelon and purple Daikon radishes at my farm stands and farmers markets. Our large health food store, Healthy Living (much like Whole Foods) also carries local produce, so I find them there as well.
      They are a late fall into winter crop there, so look for them about the same time you start seeing winter squashes.

  17. Nancy says:

    So beautiful! This would make me smile! I would enjoy the crunch of the radishes!

    1. Thank you Nancy! The radishes are very crunchy and tasty, and they really do make everyone smile! Luckily, they are in abundance right about now!

  18. writinstuff says:

    What a beautiful salad! Thank you for this burst of color

    1. Thank you! With such little sunshine so far this winter, we need a reason to put on those shades!
      Oh, the sun just popped out! It will be a good day!

  19. Lady A says:

    We feel the same way Dorothy. I have been experimenting with colourful winter salad ideas. The radish looks fabulous.

    1. Purple cabbage, radicchio, bright carrots! They all lift the mood just by looking at them!

  20. That salad is almost too beautiful to eat … almost! 😉

    1. Yes indeed N., almost!

  21. CarolCooks2 says:

    It looks so beautiful and the dressing sounds delicious, Dorothy…A very pretty salad 🙂

    1. Thank you Carol! I always think these beautiful radishes look rather tropical, like they belong where YOU live!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Yes they do you are correct lovely colours always make the​ dish look more inviting and it does have that tropical vibe… xoxo

  22. Americaoncoffee says:

    Beautiful. Really beautiful. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much! We really do eat with our eyes first!

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        True. Our eyes gaze upon every captivation. Have a relaxing day dear Dorothy.❤️

      2. You too my friend!

  23. terrie gura says:

    Oooh, your salads always look so pretty!!! Great idea to use the serrated blade for slicing those watermelon radishes. They literally just pop on the plate! Tahini is a great ingredient for a dressing, too. Thanks for this idea!

    1. Thank you Terrie! This is one of those salads that make me feel healthier just looking at it!

  24. Ronit says:

    Such colorful crispy salads are the best to uplift the spirits on a cold gray winter day! Love the tahini dressing! 🙂

    1. Thanks Ronit! Whether food or fabric, color is so important this time of year!

  25. NancyC says:

    This is definitely a lovely salad—all that colorful goodness is beautiful! 🙂

    1. Thanks Nancy! And it lived up to its beauty in taste!

  26. Love toasted sesame oil, this salad looks amazing

    1. Thank you so much. It delighted everyone!

  27. Looks perfect for the post holiday urge to eat lighter and brighter, thanks Dorothy ♥

    1. Thanks Sally! It really fit the bill!

  28. Christy B says:

    Now I’m thinking about the yummy combination of radishes, sesame oil, and honey! Great 2023 recipe, Dorothy!

    1. Thanks Christy! It was really yummy all put together!

  29. It’s almost too pretty to eat Dorothy! 😍 I would love to try the watermelon radishes but I’ve never seen them here.

    1. They are a cold weather crop, so you might not be able to source them easily. But you can use any tasty radish here; we also love the purple Daikon, can you get those?

      1. Thanks Dorothy! I can find white daikon but never saw the purple one ☺️

  30. JOY journal says:

    Oh, my! So beautiful and so peppery flavorful!!

    1. Thank you! It’s a really vibrant salad on all fronts.

  31. How could you not love this, talk about eating with your eyes Dorothy!

    1. I know! You almost need sunglasses!

  32. So pretty. It almost looks like artwork! Thanks for the recipe. 😀

    1. Thank you! It really was awfully pretty!

  33. I’ve never seen radishes as the main attraction in a salad before! Yours looks very inviting.

    1. Thank you Liz! This was so flavorful, everyone enjoyed it!

      1. You’re welcome, Dorothy!

  34. Roberta Eaton Cheadle says:

    Hi Dorothy, this is a very pretty salad.

    1. Thank you Robbie! Pretty is important this time of year!

  35. Roland says:

    That salad looks stunning!

    1. Thank you! I love a salad that catches your attention!

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