This Cucumber Radish Salsa is another good example of how easy it can to be to expand your salsa repertoire beyond the realm of tomatoes and tomatillos.
Here we’re combining the piquancy of radishes with the cool crunch of an English cucumber. The result is a light, vibrant salsa that will work equally well on tacos, tostadas or even pita bread.
Cucumber Radish Salsa Recipe
And once you get a sense of the heat-salt-juice proportions that work best for your taste buds you can apply those same proportions to other veggie based salsas; you’ll only be limited by what’s in season at your local market.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the ingredients we’re using:
I think it’s worth seeking out an English cucumber for this salsa. The crisp crunch of that variety seems to work best here.
In addition to the cilantro, serrano and cucumber, be sure to give the radishes a good rinse. Here’s what our ingredients look like after rinsing, removing stems, and proportioning them out:
So we’re using:
1 English cucumber
1/2 lb. radishes (approximately 12 small radishes)
1 garlic clove
1/2 serrano pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro (approximately 1/2 cup chopped)
(plus 1/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly cracked black pepper)
The serrano pepper is an efficient way to add some heat, but you can substitute a jalapeno pepper and get an equally good result.
Using one English cucumber and 1/2 lb. radishes should give you a 1:1 ratio.
Then it’s just a matter of chopping everything up and mixing well in a bowl. Don’t forget to squeeze in the juice of a single lime (approximately 2 tablespoons). You can also add 1/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly cracked pepper at this point.
Give it a good mix and now the most important part…take a taste!
Ideally the veggies are kept in check by the heat, salt, and lime juice. If either the cucumber or radish flavor is dominating then now is the time to balance them out. (Our authentic Pico de Gallo recipe uses the same idea, using heat-salt-lime to keep the tomatoes from dominating.)
For this batch, I added another generous pinch of salt and a healthy squeeze of lime. I was happy with the heat level but you’re welcome to add additional heat at this point too, i.e. the other half of the serrano.
Okay, you’re mostly there but there’s one more decision to make…
You can leave the salsa chunky like it is now, or you can dice it even finer.
Dicing it fine seems to give it a pleasing, homogeneous flavor and it also creates a more familiar “salsa like” texture.
I’m a fan of the finely diced version but of course it’s worth experimenting to see which one works best for you.
Either way, you’ve now got a light, vibrant salsa that will work wonders next to grilled meats and just about anything else that needs some salsa love.
Don’t forget to keep a mental note on the heat-salt-juice proportions, as you can easily supplant that info onto other veggie combos that work well for your taste buds.
Okay, let me know how your version turns out!
This Cucumber Radish Salsa is a great example of how easy it can be to build salsas that don't rely on tomatoes or tomatillos. A light, vibrant salsa that works great on tacos, tostadas, and even pita bread.
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/2 lb. radishes (approximately 12 small radishes)
- 1/4 onion
- 1/2 serrano pepper
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly cracked pepper
Give the radishes, cilantro, cucumber and serrano a good rinse under cold water.
Remove stems and chop up the following ingredients, adding to a mixing bowl: 1 English cucumber, 1/2 lb. radishes, 1/4 onion, 1/2 serrano, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 1 garlic clove.
Add the juice of a single lime (approximately 2 tablespoons) along with 1/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly cracked black pepper. Combine well.
Taste for heat and seasoning. I added another pinch of salt and another squeeze of lime to this batch.
If you want a more homogeneous flavor, keep chopping until the mixture is finely diced.
Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
I usually twist off and discard the thicker, bottom portions of the cilantro but keep the upper portion of the stems.
I think it's worth using an English cucumber as the crisp crunch works well in this recipe.
The heat-salt-juice levels might take some tweaking but it's worth experimenting with them. You'll be able to apply similar proportions to other, similar salsas.
Our previous best example of a salsa that doesn’t use tomatoes or tomatillos was this Peanut Chile Salsa.