As the temperate spring turns to summer, the last of the asparagus and radishes leave me to do as much as I can while they’re still fresh in the market. When I have radishes, I also love cooking the greens because they do retain a bit of that radish-y bite. The radish root itself is also wonderful when cooked. It tames some of the bite, softens slightly and adds a pleasant textural note to a hearty salad, like one with cooked barley. Today’s salad can be eaten warm almost like a stir fry, room temperature at a picnic or cold as a quick lunch the next day after preparing the night before.
Bison Bacon Barley Salad with Honey Glazed Asparagus and Radishes
3 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 fresh Doef’s Greenhouses red chilli, thinly sliced (seeds removed if desired)
8-10 Edgar Farms asparagus, cut into 4 cm/2″ lengths
6-8 Sparrows Nest Organic Farm radishes, quartered, with 1 packed cup of radish greens
3 Tbsp Coal Lake Honey farm mixed honey
100g/8oz (about 1 cup) bison bacon (you could also use back bacon, Irish bacon, ham or any lean, smoked product. If vegan, you could use smoked tofu or coconut bacon. I used a beautiful product from Big Bend Market while on a recent trip to Red Deer last weekend)
1 cup cooked Gold Forest Grains whole, unhulled barley
1 August Organics green onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed flax oil
Place a wok over medium high heat. Heat the canola oil until just starting to smoke. Add the garlic, chillis and the white part of the green onions. Stir fry until the edges of the garlic just become lightly golden. Quickly add the asparagus and radish roots and stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes until the radishes soften slightly and the asparagus turns a more vibrant green. Add the honey and stir through, coating all the ingredients. When the honey starts to darken slightly, add the barley, bison bacon and radish greens. Stir fry for a further 3-4 minutes to completely coat all the ingredients with the sweet and spicy glaze. Take off the heat, fold in the green part of the green onions and drizzle with flax oil. Serves 4-5 as a starter or side.