Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Venus-Is-Out-Tonight Radish, Black Olive, And Feta Salad. A Picnic Game!

What's In A Name 
Of the Greek word "Raphanus"
Quickly appearing, matures rapidly
Cultivated for a few months in late spring, early fall
A symbol of spring, of fertile soil
Favored in ancient Roman times
Used as wages, even
Its flesh, the colour of love
Inside, the colour of purity
The goddess of love and beauty
Originally, the goddess of gardens and vegetation
Associated with the arrival of spring,
A mature woman at birth, Botticelli
The hottest, brightest planet
Reveals herself for a few hours before dawn,
A few hours after sunset
As a jewel on clear nights
Originally named "Aphrodite" by the Greeks
Later named "Venus" by the Romans

Welcome To A Virtual Picnic!
This picnic game is hosted by Louise who writes the incredible Months of Edible Celebrations. On June 18, it was International Picnic Day and time to begin the Picnic game.

When I decided to play, the letter R for my Radish Salad was already picked so I chose the letter V for my dish after doing some research. I found some amazing facts about the Greek and Roman history of radishes and made some interesting associations with mythology and the planets.

I envisioned a picnic, late in the day, extending into early evening, on a clear night, away from city lights when Venus would shine its brightest. A moment to pause and reflect on the feast, on the ancient root vegetable and its history. The first bite, crisp, peppery, and moist, awakens the senses. A reminder that the earth is good and what comes forth, a blessing.

I'm going on a picnic and bringing:
A-Apricot Cobbler (Mae)
F-Fingerling Potato Salad w/ Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette (Heather)
I-Incredible "Rabbit" Pineapple Tarts (Selba)
J-Jam Jewels (Tiffanee)
K-Kirschmichel (Petra)
L-Lime Cranberry Fizz (Inger)
M-Mint Sundae Brownie Squares (Debbie)
N-Nice Mini Biscuit Sandwiches (Gloria)

V- Venus-Is-Out-Tonight Radish, Black Olive, And Feta Salad
The recipe, Radish And Feta Salad, is from the cookbook "Asparagus To Zucchini", MACSAC

4 cups thinly sliced radishes
1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese
Sliced black olives (I used pitted Kalamata olives)
Chopped scallions or fresh mint (I used both the first time I made it and just mint the second time)
Lemon vinaigrette

Combine all ingredients. The recipe says to create a lemony vinaigrette but offers no recipe. That's easy enough to make but I decided to simply use the wonderful lemon olive oil I have with fig-infused white balsamic vinegar that I saw Elisabeth use once on Food And Thrifts Finds. It sounded great and I decided to try it.

The lemon olive oil and fig-infused vinegar worked together perfectly. And so simple!

The actual picnic with radish salad, grapes, cherries, Italian cheeses, fig spread, assorted spreads: tomato with artichoke, smoked salmon with spinach, feta hummus, assorted nuts . . .

It wasn't long before the White Mountain rains came . . .

Our picnic at the hemlocks' edge was quickly abandoned . . .

Venus won't be out this night, but she'll be with us in spirit. We continued indoors . . .

And The Virtual Picnic Continues 
Visit Months of Edible Celebrations to see the picnic roundup, including W, X, Y and Z.

* * *

"Though the day still lingers, 
the rose-scattering fire 
of the evening star 
already scintillates through the azure sky" 

~ Willem Kloos (1859-1938, Dutch poet and essayist)

* * *


  1. Wow! girl you are rockin' the blog!!

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  3. Oh yes, Linn Ann, a poem! Just lovely. And you may be interested in seeing the painting "exhausted mother with radishes" from the Sandro website. You can find it here:
    (Sorry, tried to embed the link with html but it wouldn't work for me!)

  4. Oh my heavens, Linda, what a GREAT post. The mood is set and this salad, bursting with mystery and intrigue, is absolutely perfect for our picnic!

    Thank you so much for joining the Picnic Game. Just wait until you see our basket stuffed with goodies on Friday. Incredible!!!

  5. Love your fun picnic game, Linda...and the fact that it focused aroung V-for Venus. Such a great history behind it.
    Your radish and feta salad look so crunchy and yummy. Thank you for the kind mention re: the fig infused vinegar. I can imagine how good it blended into the salad.
    Love the photos of your outside/inside, as well!

  6. What a lovely picnic game Lin..and poem is so great too! I love your photos and salad!

  7. Beautiful salad!! I wish I could pick it off my screen. I'm hungry now! :)

  8. Hi Lin Ann! It's been a while since I've visited but I am back. Wow! Radishes have never been so sensuous! I love it. Great picnic post as well. Good to see your gift at writing being used so well,

  9. Nothing better than a radish salad on a picnic. And what a lovely way to set up your picnic. The poem is just right for the occasion!

  10. I'm impressed that you had a real picnic to try this picnic dish: dedication!!

    best... mae

  11. You do know how to set the mood. An impressive post and visually appealing salad no one can resist.

  12. Thanks SO much everyone! It was fun to do

  13. This is the first year that I have seen recipes using radishes and I am inspired. Got more in the CSA box this week and I have all the other ingredients. Hooray--I am sure enjoying this picnic!

  14. Yay! I hope you try it and love it. I thought it was a strange combination at first but when I tasted it, wow! The salty, creamy feta works really well with the peppery, spicy radish.

  15. What a fun virtual picnic game...and what an awesome salad to share! Great job, Lin!