I'm planning a party for Joanne: she's an adventurous type. "Creative appetizers," she wants, something different. How about daikon radish? It's that long, white, Asian root vegetable coming into season in the next few months. You can buy daikon at Asian and natural grocery stores most any time of year, but the moister the season the sweeter the radish; so it's just coming into it's prime. In summer, daikon is usually drier and quite zesty.
We Food Partied! about daikon in the infamous pickle-post. Considered a "fat breaker-upper" in macrobiotic cuisine, this winter radish is often grated with carrot and served alongside deep-fried Japanese Tempura. Here's another application, a vegan appetizer with a unique flavor that always surprises and entertains taste buds.
Tahini Carrot Daikon Canapé with Black Olive
When all the foods at a party are high in cheese, animal fats, and bread, we often leave feeling bloated. Make sure your next party has vegan and raw options, not just for philosophical or environmental reasons, but to create the proper food balance and allow your guests to leave feeling great. This raw appetizer is an explosion of international flavors.
Makes 25 appetizers
1 daikon radish, at least 9 inches long and about 1 inch in diameter (see Note)
1 /4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon brown rice miso
1 /2 carrot, peeled, grated, and chopped finely
1 /2 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1 /2 teaspoon brown rice syrup (available in natural foods stores)
3 /4 teaspoon hot chili pepper sauce (like Sriracha)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Cilantro leaves for garnish
15 high-quality black olives, pits removed, quartered
Peel the daikon or scrub with a vegetable brush. Slice into 1/8-inch rounds. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the next 7 ingredients (tahini through sesame seeds). mix well. Mound 1 /2 teaspoon of the mixture onto each daikon slice. Top with a cilantro leaf and an olive sliver.
NOTE: Although more readily available in grocery stores, it is best to buy dakon at farmers markets, natural food stores, or Asian grocery stores, where turnover is higher and freshness is more likely.
Recipe from Cool Cuisine ? Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming (2008)
photo by Christine Krieg Photography