Many years ago, when I was dating Sean, who is now my husband, we sat down to dinner at a friend’s house and he started to do something very strange. He pointed to his salad that had fresh greens, tomatoes and radishes in it and began to say, “Rad? Ish!”
I stared at him, confused.
He tried again. “Rad? Ish!”
“Uh… yup,” I finally said. “That’s a radish!”
Eventually we realized that what we had here was a cross-cultural communication problem. Sean is from Minnesota, which has its own lingo, as anyone who’s seen Fargo knows. In addition to sayings like “uff-dah,” or “oh for cute,” Minnesotans also describe disgusting things not as “icky” but as ishy. They will also exclaim, “Oh, ish!” after spotting an unpleasant sight.
So, what my boyfriend meant was that this vegetable was not “rad,” as someone in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure might say, but “ish,” as a Minnesotan might shriek.
Having bridged our cultural divide, I now understand the joke and Sean understands why I don’t get it. But I still think radishes are rad and not ishy. We’ve worked that one out though, and he simply slides any of the unwanted spicy vegetable over to my plate.
I especially like radishes in this recipe from the Wolff’s Apple House recipe box. It’s a delightfully summery salad recipe with homemade dressing and fresh vegetables. The dressing reminds me of chimichurri, which is bursting with herb flavor.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 small jalapeño, seeded
- 1 tsp agave
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup chives
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)
- 6 medium radishes, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- ¼ small red onion, thinly diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a blender, puree the lime juice, jalapeño, agave, cumin, parsley, chives and red wine vinegar. With the machine on, add the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the corn with the radishes, tomato, onion and dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper, transfer to plates and serve immediately.